BRDC Rising Star Scott McKenna fought back from a difficult qualifying to claim a brace of top-seven finishes at Silverstone and keep in the hunt for a strong finish in his maiden Porsche Carrera Cup GB season.
The North Yorkshire rookie looked to bounce back from narrowly missing out on a podium finish a week prior at Thruxton, and testing times showed promise for the Redline Racing driver earlier in the week.
McKenna sat second in the times in mixed conditions at the shorter National layout of the famous Northampton circuit, matching his strong pace shown in testing prior to the season back in the spring.
While Friday brought optimism, Saturday’s qualifying session was another tightly-bunched affair. Unfortunately, track limits were the talking point for many, McKenna among those to have had times deleted during the session as he qualified ninth on the grid, despite being a mere 0.3s from pole position.
The first of two 27-lap races took place later that Saturday afternoon, with the Teessider fully focused on recovering ground at the 1.64-mile circuit. A good getaway gave the 19-year-old his shot at recovering places, and he duly made his way up two spots to seventh place by the time the safety car emerged to slow the field after an incident further back in the field.
On the restart, McKenna latched into an entertaining seven-car battle for second spot. The rookie tailed team-mate Matty Graham and moved ahead of Josh Webster through a time penalty for the latter to climb into the top six, briefly losing out to Mark Kimber late on.
McKenna would not be denied however, snatching the spot back with a fine move to seal a hard-fought sixth spot, narrowly missing out on the reverse grid pole position for race two the following day.
McKenna’s Porsche 911 started sixth in front of the ITV2 cameras on Sunday and looked to have moved up to fifth as the Redline racer nosed inside Will Martin at Becketts. Stuck on the wrong side heading into Brooklands, a tag from Webster sent McKenna wide and down to eighth place as he recovered well from the unplanned sideways moment.
Determined to recover, McKenna settled into the race and soon caught up to Sam MacLeod, lunging inside his rival at Becketts successfully to grab seventh place. Chasing Kimber to the flag, last year’s Ginetta GT5 Challenge champion just missed out in another tight race, finishing only four seconds from the podium.
Salvaging solid points keeps McKenna sitting fifth in the overall Carrera Cup GB standings with third place still well within sight, also remaining a comfortable third in the rookie standings with four races remaining.
McKenna next heads to the Snetterton 300 circuit in Norfolk for the latest pair of races on 24/25 October, a track he won at in Ginettas last year in front of the BTCC crowds. Races will be broadcast LIVE on ITV in support of the British Touring Car Championship.
Scott McKenna (#82 Redline Racing):
“We started well and showed great pace in our cars throughout testing. We went into the weekend knowing that we could fight towards the front again.
“Saturday unfortunately was a tough day for us and it started with qualifying. We were all so close, but a few lap times taken off us meant we got a late time to our name which left us playing catch up.
“In both races we were in the fight, but it’s hard to overtake cleanly around here when there’s not much in it. I got a few chances and had a great battle with Mark in the first race, then almost grabbed fifth at the start of the second before we were eased out and had to fight back again.
“Snetterton has been kind to me in recent years so I hope it’s the same again this year! We’ve again shown we can be up there, so I’ll be focusing on a good qualifying to get us back in the hunt for trophies.”
Photos: Dan Bathie/Porsche GB