King sparkles in Monaco at glittering end-of-year gala

King sparkles in Monaco at glittering end-of-year gala

07.01.2010: Young Warwickshire speed demon Jordan King crowned a glittering year in 2009 by being honoured for his achievements at the prestigious annual CIK-FIA awards ceremony in Monaco – and as he heads

Young Warwickshire speed demon Jordan King crowned a glittering year in 2009 by being honoured for his achievements at the prestigious annual CIK-FIA awards ceremony in Monaco – and as he heads into what will likely be his final season in karting in 2010, he makes it clear that he intends to go out on a high.

Jordan’s invitation to the Principality came off the back of his outstanding triumph in the CIK-FIA Asia-Pacific KF3 Championship in Macau in October, when he overcame a crumbling track surface, torrential downpour and water-logged engine to quite literally rain on his rivals’ parade and storm to glory, lifting one of the most coveted laurels in the sport the world over. It was, he acknowledged, a seminal moment in his burgeoning career.

“Everything went right that weekend, from start-to-finish,” he recalled. “It was the best-prepared we had been all year, and the grand final was definitely a highlight of 2009 – and even of all my time in motorsport so far.

“Monaco is always special, and I enjoy going there – I’ve been to the grand prix before. The place has a lot of motorsport history and heritage behind it, and it was a really big event. I was one of only four drivers from all around the world in KF3 to win an award – and when you put that into words, it does sound pretty good!”

Indeed, only Dutchman Nyck de Vries, Spaniard Carlos Sainz Jnr – son of two-time World Rally Champion Carlos Sainz – and Italian Giuliano Maria Niceta joined Jordan as award recipients in the KF3 class at the star-studded gala, attended by new FIA President Jean Todt along with a number of other Formula 1 luminaries. The glitz and the glamour of the occasion might have been the fruit of his labours, but in order to get there the 15-year-old had to work hard indeed, and get the better of competitors with far more experience under their belts.

Proud of his accomplishment and rightly so – given that 2009 was his first season of overseas competition – Jordan concluded the campaign eighth in the fiercely-contested WSK International Series, a laudable feat by any standards, but one with which the Stuart Wright-run Harbury ace admits to being not altogether satisfied.

Following a superb start to his European challenge, with victory in the pre-final at Sarno in Italy and podium finishes at both Castelletto, again in Italy, and Genk in Belgium – on the latter occasion lapping a staggering 1.5 seconds faster than anyone else on the circuit as the heavens did their worst and he scythed his way back up the order following an early knock, forcing observers to truly sit up and take note – the momentum suddenly collapsed, with engine woes the principal issue.

“Back at the beginning of the year, if someone had told me I would finish eighth in WSK, I would have been happy with that,” Jordan acknowledged, “but given where we were midway through, I’m a bit disappointed, to be honest. It all started to go wrong after Genk. We were up in fourth in the championship, just 20 points off the lead and closing on the top three, and it was all looking set to be a really strong end to the season.

“At Salbris in France we qualified sixth for the final, which I was really pleased with, and then the engine packed up after only two laps. We just had the sense that we were trying our hardest but not getting anywhere. It was frustrating, because I knew we had the pace to be inside the top ten every time – and sometimes we weren’t even making the final.

“Looking on the positive side, though, I was the only rookie to win a pre-final or grand final, I got the most podiums for a rookie and for a Brit and I was the only rookie to finish on the podium – so that was all pretty good.”

To his immense credit – especially given that 2009 was only his fourth full year of competition – Jordan never once let his head drop and relentlessly kept on pushing, and whilst he was similarly out of luck in the finals of the European Championship, lapping within a tenth of the outright pace again confirmed both his form and potential.

On home turf, the Repton School pupil triumphed in the Kimbolton curtain-raiser for Formula Kart Stars – the same series as first set a certain Lewis Hamilton on the fast track to future F1 superstardom – following a tooth-and-nail race-long duel with the driver who would go on to become British Champion.

In fellow national series Super 1, meanwhile, Jordan concluded proceedings as the top scorer, but due to the intricacies of the points system, he was ultimately classified a frustrated and unrepresentative sixth, paying a heavy price for being the most consistent driver in the field. Had it been calculated as in Europe without dropped scores, he would have been vice-champion.

Still, he could comfort himself in the knowledge that he had beaten the very best in the country to lift the coveted Kartmasters trophy and ‘GP’ plate that accompanies it at PF International during the summer – and as he steps up a gear to the more powerful KF2 class for his karting swansong with his reputation now solidly established, the target is palpably to sign off in style.

“I’ve improved all-round I’d say, in every aspect of my driving,” he concluded. “You never stop learning and improving, and I want to move forward again in 2010. It would be good to move out of karting with a big title to my name, and then take that confidence on into cars.

“Back at the start of 2009, nobody really knew who I was in Europe, but after a year at the front now, hopefully there will be a different level of respect for me. If we can get a good start to the season and some good points early on, people will see that we’re there to win.”

To keep up-to-date with Jordan's latest career news and results, please visit:

- RA -  photo Chris Walker


07.01.2010 / MaP

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