- Chris Ashby
McKenzy Cresswell Reignites British F4 Title Challenge With Croft Double
McKenzy Cresswell maintained his challenge for the F4 British Championship certified by FIA - powered by Ford EcoBoost title at Croft Circuit this past weekend (September 18/19) after producing a superb double-winning performance.
The JHR Developments driver delivered a stand-out performance during the series' annual visit to North Yorkshire as he converted two pole position starts into two commanding lights-to-flag victories.
Arriving at the eighth event of the season with his car having undergone a full rebuild following a sizeable crash at Thruxton, the 15-year-old was keen to repay his teams’ hard work with silverware - and he did just that.
Showing plenty of front-running pace during Friday’s two practice sessions, Cresswell - who is backed by Quenched Drinks and Salt Recruitment - carried his speed into what proved to be an ultra-competitive qualifying.
Sitting second for a majority of the session, the Rookie Cup contender punched in a sensational lap late on to clinch pole position for races one and three.
Race one would see Cresswell convert his front row start into a lead that he would ultimately never lose. Fending off the challenge of team-mate Matthew Rees on lap one, the single-seater racer soon got his head down and pulled clear of the chasing pack.
Extending his advantage as each lap passed, Cresswell clinched the fastest lap on his way to the chequered flag; claiming an impressive Grand Slam of pole, fastest lap, leading every lap and victory - both overall and in the Rookie Cup.
Starting the reverse grid contest from the back row, Cresswell’s hopes of a good result were unfortunately ended on the first lap. Making up six positions through the opening sequence of corners, the teenager was unsighted as those in front of him slowed for safety car boards at the Jim Clark Esses, forcing him onto the grass and into the barriers.
Bringing his weekend to a close with race three on Sunday - live on ITV4 - Cresswell produced a carbon copy performance of race one as he delivered a peerless drive.
Once again launching from pole position, the karting graduate fended off the those behind him during the opening tour before stretching his legs out front. Building the gap to over four seconds by the time he took the chequered flag, Cresswell also claimed the fastest lap for a second Grand Slam of the weekend
Now tied for the most overall wins this year, Cresswell has made credible in-roads into closing the gap at the top of both the overall and Rookie Cup standings.
McKenzy Cresswell:“It’s been an amazing weekend! After all the hard work the team put in to rebuild the car following Thruxton this was the perfect reward - our championship charge is very much back on-track now!
“Since we arrived at Croft the car has felt mega. Qualifying was tight but I managed to hook up a lap late on to clinch double pole. Nailing the start was important as we knew we had good race pace once in clear air.
“What happened in the reverse grid race was unfortunate, I was just unsighted by those in front of me through the Jim Clark Esses and had nowhere to go. After making up six places it was frustrating as I think we could have fought towards the front.
“We’ve got momentum on our side now heading into next weekend’s event at Silverstone. We’re in the mix for the title and I’m going to be giving everything I have to close that gap at the top!”
The F4 British Championship certified by FIA - powered by Ford EcoBoost heads to Silverstone this coming weekend (September 25/26) for the latest three races of the 2021 campaign.
Image from Jakob Ebrey Photography.