McKenzy Cresswell claimed a hat-trick of Rookie Cup podium finishes on what proved to be a bruising F4 British Championship certified by FIA - powered by Ford EcoBoost weekend (September 25/26) at Silverstone.
The JHR Developments driver found himself in the wars during the eighth event of the 2021 season but crucially added to his silverware collection and in-turn, maintaining his championship challenge.
Aiming to build on the brace of victories that he scored at Croft, the 15-year-old topped the timesheets during Thursday and Friday’s practice sessions as he got his eye in around the 1.64-mile National layout.
In what was a ultra-competitive qualifying session which saw the entire grid covered by less than a second on Saturday, Cresswell set a best time of 56.192s to secure fourth on the grid for the opening contest of the weekend.
Dropping to fifth during the early stages of race one, Cresswell - who is back by Quenched Drinks and Salt Recruitment - remained a constant threat to fourth place however tyre degradation from running in dirty air prevented him from mounting a serious challenge.
Although he took the chequered flag completing the top five, the karting graduate ensured he added to his silverware collection as he claimed third place in the Rookie Cup category.
Starting the reverse grid encounter from 14th, Cresswell picked up his second Rookie Cup podium of the weekend as he showcased his overtaking prowess to finish eighth and bank valuable points to bolster his championship aspirations.
Race three would see edge-of-the-seat entertainment from start-to-finish with Cresswell finding himself in the thick of the action. Starting third, the four-time race winner made a strong start and was hot on the heels of the top two as they headed into the Maggots Becketts sequence on the first lap.
Utilising the slipstream, Cresswell darted to the right on entry to Becketts and moved into first place on the apex. However, a collision with a car coming through from fourth, at the exit onto the Wellington Straight, caused damage to his car, forcing him to pit.
Bolting on a new set of tyres and front wing, Cresswell rejoined the race and punched in what would be the fastest lap. Despite being a lap down, multiple incidents in front ensured that he would finish the day on the podium once again as he completed a hat-trick of third place Rookie Cup finishes.
McKenzy Cresswell: “It’s been a pretty action-packed weekend so to come away with three Rookie Cup podiums is great. We’ve banked some important points and kept ourselves firmly in the hunt for both the overall title as well as the Rookie Cup.
“I was a little frustrated after qualifying, especially as we had shown we had plenty of pace in testing. Race one was difficult because I knew I could move forward but the dirty air and tyre degradation hampered my chances and then in race two it was all about keeping out of trouble.
“Race three didn’t exactly go to plan. I had a mega run out of Copse corner and got the move done at Becketts, but when I went to exit onto the straight another car was suddenly there. Despite pitting I was the fastest car on-track so it is somewhat bittersweet to think what could have been; at least we scored some points.
“We go to Donington Park next and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do there. I’ll be going for every point that is available and the target is to close that gap to the top two ahead of the Brands Hatch finale!”
Just two events now remain in the 2021 F4 British Championship certified by FIA - powered by Ford EcoBoost season, with the next taking place at Donington Park on October 9/10.
Image from Jakob Ebrey Photography.