Cresswell eases to victory in eventful reverse grid contest

McKenzy Cresswell claimed the spoils in successive reverse grid races after easing to victory in an eventful second F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost race at Knockhill.

Reminiscent of his opening lap charge at Oulton Park, Cresswell made quick work of dispatching his rivals at the front, first out-dragging Marcos Flack (Phinsys by Argenti) on the run down to Duffus Dip off the start, before making a move stick around the outside of David Morales (Arden) at the Hairpin.

From there, he set about building the 2.5-second margin he would register at the chequered flag, his second win in Britain’s FIA Formula 4 series, a sixth podium of the campaign and some much-needed respite on an otherwise-difficult weekend for the 15-year-old in Fife.

Cresswell’s win also keeps him in touch with the championship battle after turbulent races for his chief rivals, team-mate Matthew Rees and current points leader James Hedley.

Hedley had been due to start the contest, delayed by fog shortly before the start, from the front of the field, but was wheeled back to the paddock from the assembly area by his Fortec Motorsport team with a mechanical issue.

Rees made some progress from the rear of the field early on, but was left with no-where to go after a collision between Hedley’s Fortec team-mate Joel Granfors and the Argenti challenger of Eduardo Coseteng at Clark, damaging his front wing and forcing him to pit.

It ensured he would finish the race non-scoring, preserving Hedley’s 10-point advantage at the championship summit into the final race of the day at 15:55.

Behind Cresswell on the road finished Taylor, the Red Arrow first diving past Flack at the Hairpin early on, before annexing second at the same corner past Morales later in the 20-minute contest.

He might have faced a sterner challenge from a charging Askey, but the Carlin racer was kept behind by Flack early on, including two near-misses between the pair as they battled tooth and nail for fourth spot.

A wide moment over the gravel for Flack released Askey, who then set purple sectors – and the eventual Motul Fastest Lap – in his pursuit of the top three. He was able to get by Morales at Duffus, but ran out of time to continue his push towards Cresswell and Taylor further up the road.

And, although Morales would lose another spot to Askey’s team-mate Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak late on as the Thai driver secured fourth, fifth spot marks the US racer’s first points in the category.

Joseph Loake emerged victorious in a private battle over sixth and seventh with Fortec’s Oliver Gray, although the latter was able to round out the Rookie podium behind Cresswell and Askey.

Behind them, one of the battles of the season was eventually decided in Abbi Pulling (JHR)’s favour, the Brit winning through a thrilling scrap with race one winner Matias Zagazeta (Argenti) and Carlin’s Dougie Bolger.

Bolger defended well initially from the charging pair as Pulling and Zagazeta debated ninth spot between themselves. Forced to attack and defend simultaneously, Pulling eventually sent a superb move around the outside of Duffus to secure eighth from Bolger, with Zagazeta capitalising to follow her through.

Bolger therefore rounded out the top ten on this occasion, leading home the rest of Argenti’s stable – Flack, Aiden Neate and Coseteng, in that order. Matthew Rees completed the 14 finishers, albeit with a trip to the pit lane for a mandatory repair to his broken front wing.

Ford’s rising stars will be live on ITV4 for the final contest of the weekend in Fife at 15:55.

Provisional Result – Round 14

Pos. Name Team Laps
1 McKenzy CRESSWELL JHR Developments 24 laps
2 Zak TAYLOR Arden Motorsport +2.581s
3 Kai ASKEY Carlin +5.480s
4 Tasanapol INTHRAPHUVASAK Carlin +6.859s
5 David MORALES Arden Motorsport +8.556s
6 Joseph LOAKE JHR Developments +11.452s
7 Oliver GRAY Fortec Motorsport +11.927s
8 Abbi PULLING JHR Developments +17.810s
9 Matias ZAGAZETA Phinsys by Argenti +18.484s
10 Dougie BOLGER Carlin +20.655s
11 Marcos FLACK Phinsys by Argenti +23.430s
12 Aiden NEATE Phinsys by Argenti +23.580s
13 Eduardo COSETENG Phinsys by Argenti +45.397s
14 Matthew REES JHR Developments +1 lap
DNF Joel GRANFORS Fortec Motorsport +13 laps
DNS James HEDLEY Fortec Motorsport