McKenzy Cresswell will head into the final F4 British Championship certified by FIA - powered by Ford EcoBoost event of the season in less than two weeks’ time with a slim mathematical chance of winning both the overall Drivers’ and Rookie Cup titles despite a mixed weekend at Donington Park.
Cresswell - who is backed by Quenched Drinks and Salt Recruitment - enjoyed a strong showing during Saturday’s qualifying session as he carried forward the front-running pace he had shown in testing.
Punching in a best time of 1:08.083 around the 1.97-mile National circuit, the karting graduate narrowly missed out on pole position by a little over two tenths of a second to secure a spot on the front row of the grid for both races.
Race one saw the 15-year-old deliver a measured drive to net his ninth overall podium of the season after maintaining second place off the line and then joining team-mate Matthew Rees to break clear of the chasing pack.
Despite running nose-to-tail for a majority of the 20-minute contest, an opportunity to make a move for the lead ultimately never presented itself, leaving Cresswell to settle for second. Crucially, additional points were also scored courtesy of bagging the fastest lap of the race for the 6th time this season.
Starting the reverse grid contest towards the rear of the field in 15th, Cresswell managed to pick up more points as he progressed up to 12th - despite leaving the track at Coppice in the latter stages.
Returning to the front row of the grid for the third and final race, Cresswell charged into the lead around the outside at Redgate. He put up a resolute defence to Rees on the opening lap before contact between the pair saw his front wing sustain damage, removing all chance of competing for the lead.
What followed was a masterclass in defensive driving. Despite the damage to his car, Cresswell retained second until the latter stages, where he dropped to fourth before the chequered flag flew.
Heading to Brands Hatch for the series finale, Cresswell sits third in the overall Drivers’ Championship and second in the Rookie Cup.
McKenzy Cresswell:“Overall it hasn’t been too bad of a weekend - a bit up and down - however I have to be honest and say I’m a little disappointed as I don’t think the results truly reflect the pace we had.
“In race one I had a little go for the lead on the opening lap but once things settled down it was just about applying the pressure to Matthew [Rees] and seeing if I could force a mistake. He drove really well; it was brilliant to score a 1-2 for JHR though!
"I was too cautious in race two and didn’t make as much progress as I should have, but we managed to collect a few points. Race three could have been worse as the damage to the wing was pretty bad so I’m surprised I finished as high as I did.
“I’m going into the final round of the season at Brands Hatch sitting third overall and still in contention for the title and that’s something to be proud of. I’m under no illusions that I’ll need things to go my way a little but I’m looking forward to throwing everything I’ve got at trying to end the year on a high and seeing where that gets us.”
The F4 British Championship certified by FIA - powered by Ford EcoBoost will bring the curtain down on its 2021 season and crown its champions at Brands Hatch on October 23/24.
Image from Jakob Ebrey Photography.