McKenzy Cresswell brought the curtain down on his maiden season of single-seater racing in style at Brands Hatch this past weekend (October 23/24) as he charged to a brace of F4 British Championship certified by FIA - powered by Ford EcoBoost wins.
The JHR Developments driver - who entered the series finale in mathematical contention for both the Drivers’ and Rookie Cup titles - served up a superlative performance at the Kent venue to net his fifth and sixth victories of the year.
Those results, coupled with a tenth place finish in the reverse grid bout, ensured that the 15-year-old ended the year as vice-champion in the Rookie Cup and with a top three finish in the overall standings.
After getting to grips with the 2.43-mile Grand Prix layout during Friday practice, Cresswell carried his front-running pace into qualifying on Saturday, where he set a best time of 1:26.921 to secure second on the grid for the opening contest of the weekend.
Making a sensational start from the front row, the Quenched Drinks and Salt Recruitment-backed racer swept around the outside of the pole sitter at Paddock Hill Bend to take the lead and from there, he commanded proceedings.
Punching in a number of flying laps around the 2.43-mile circuit, the karting graduate pulled clear of the chasing pack to take the chequered flag by nearly five seconds.
Starting the reverse grid bout from the back of the grid, Cresswell managed to fight his way up to tenth however he could have been higher had the already shortened race not been marred by a lengthy safety car period.
The final race of the season - broadcast live on ITV4 - saw Cresswell start from pole position and like race one, he put on a masterclass out front to charge to a victory which cemented his status as the driver who has scored the most wins over the course of 2021.
Blasting off the line, Cresswell soaked up the pressure from Matias Zagazeta early on before breaking clear to comfortably take the chequered flag.
Cresswell’s race three victory also means that he will go down in the history books as the last driver to win a race in the series with Ford power, ending a legacy that stems back to the first Formula Ford race at the same venue in 1967.
McKenzy Cresswell:“What a way to round out the season with two wins! Coming into this weekend it was always a tough ask to overturn the points deficit to the top two so it was all about going out there and doing the best job we could do - and we certainly did that!
“Qualifying on the front row was great and once I got out front in races one and three it was just about putting those quick laps in and stretching the advantage. We were already up against it in race two because they shortened it by five minutes and then when we had a lengthy safety car period, that really prevented me making further progress.
“I am a little disappointed to have missed out on second place in the championship by just one point but overall it has been a fantastic season. To win six races, score five more podiums, have a number of pole positions and help JHR Developments to the Teams’ title incredible and something to be proud of.
“Whilst we have ended this season on a high the focus is already beginning to switch to 2022 and assessing what our options are. I’m excited to get to work over the winter and see what next year brings.”
Image from Jakob Ebrey Photography.