McKenzy Cresswell registers maiden victory in reverse grid contest

McKenzy Cresswell surged from fifth to the race lead before powering clear to register his maiden F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost victory in the reverse grid race at Oulton Park.

Starting on the third row, the JHR Developments racer made a textbook start and passed both Carlin’s Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak and Arden’s David Morales on the inside of a three-wide battle into Old Hall, before setting after leader and pole-sitter Thomas Ikin (Arden).

The switch for the lead came two corners later at Island Hairpin, Cresswell getting the better run to assume the race lead, and from there he went unchallenged to take the chequered flag with a near five-second margin.

The victory makes him the seventh different winner in Britain’s FIA Formula 4 series in 2021, and also offers a much-needed boost to the 15-year-old after losing out in the mixed conditions earlier in qualifying.

After making a move on Ikin stick at Druids, Inthraphuvasak was able to annex second on the road and score his maiden podium in the series, Carlin’s second of the campaign.

Ikin had to fend off race-long pressure from a similarly fast-starting Abbi Pulling (JHR), but after a late switch for fourth between Pulling and Granfors he was able to get some crucial breathing space, and duly held on to make it three podiums in successive meetings.

Granfors was fourth – his best result since his last podium finish at Thruxton – in the leading Fortec Motorsport challenger, with Pulling rounding out the top five. Ollie Gray was sixth, scoring another Rookie podium in the process, with Marcos Flack (Argenti) seventh.

Zak Taylor (Arden) finished sixth on the road but was demoted to eighth by a five-second penalty for exceeding track limits, whilst Matthew Rees (JHR) made the better progress of the title contenders at the back, rising to ninth from 18th.

Eduardo Coseteng rounded out the top ten in the other Argenti challenger to finish, with Matias Zagazeta an unfortunate retirement, spending the majority of the 20-minute contest stranded in the pits.

Dougie Bolger (Carlin) was 11th, with points leader Hedley in 12th, his margin – having been extended to 28 earlier in the day with victory – now down to 26 points. Hedley finished a half-second clear of Joseph Loake (JHR), with Georgi Dimitrov (Richardson) and Aiden Neate (Argenti) finishing behind in similar increments.

Roman Bilinski (Carlin) dropped back to 16th after contact from behind, with team-mate Kai Askey and Morales rounding out the finishers.

Ford’s rising stars return to action for one further race around the 2.2-mile Cheshire circuit tomorrow, live on ITV4 at 14:00 (BST).