McKenzy Cresswell signed off his maiden season in the GB3 Championship partnered by the BRDC at Donington Park this past weekend (October 15/16) with a battling performance which saw him narrowly miss out on a second podium of the year.
Bringing the curtain down on what has been rollercoaster campaign in the single-seater series, the Chris Dittmann Racing driver showcased his wet-weather pace and overtaking prowess with two superb drives to clinch fourth and eighth place finishes.
Getting dialled into the Grand Prix layout of the Leicestershire circuit during Thursday and Friday’s practice sessions, the 16-year-old went on to set the 12th fastest time in what was an ultra-competitive qualifying session – ending up less than half a second off pole position.
Race one proved to be one of frustration for the Motorsport UK Academy and BRDC Rising Star driver as his aforementioned pace went unrewarded. Launching from the sixth row of the grid, Cresswell moved up onto the fringes of the top ten before a brief safety car period.
On the restart, some opportune race craft saw Cresswell progress up to eighth before damage to both his front and rear wings left him with no other option than to head to the pit lane and retire from the contest.
Cresswell came oh-so close to a podium finish in a captivating second bout. Damp conditions at the start meant that a majority of the grid, including the Surrey-based teenager, opted for wet tyres whilst a handful of others gambled on slicks.
Making a sluggish start from ninth, Cresswell - who is sponsored by Quenched Drinks and supported by Salt Recruitment - dropped back a few spots but wasted no time in fighting back as the field threaded its way around the 2.48-mile track on the opening tour.
Settling into a groove, the Formula to Perform athlete soon carving his way up the order and as the race hit the latter stages, he moved into third. Unfortunately, as the track dried, the superior pace of the slick-shod cars meant that Cresswell would finish fourth - however it was still a superlative performance.
Starting the final race of the weekend and the season from ninth, Cresswell concluded his rookie GB3 campaign with another fine drive to finish eighth.
McKenzy Cresswell: “It was a solid end to the season! We had really good pace throughout the weekend which was encouraging; unfortunately the damage in race one put pay to being able to bring home a solid result.
“Race two was bittersweet as the podium was within reach. Keeping the wet tyres on was the right decision over the course of the race but sadly we just didn’t have enough left in them on that final lap to fend off the slick runners. It was still solid points though and we banked a few more in what was a chaotic race three.
“On reflection, the 2022 season has definitely been a learning year although there were some good moments along the way; that podium at Spa-Francorchamps being one of them. I’m grateful for all the people that have made this year what it was; my team, family, sponsors and partners.
“I’ll take a little time to rest and reflect on the season and then we will get cracking on putting a deal together for the 2023 season.”
Image from Jakob Ebrey Photography.