Jordan King ends brilliant KF3 rookie year top of the class

Jordan King ends brilliant KF3 rookie year top of the class

09.11.2009: Young Warwickshire karting star Jordan King has concluded his maiden campaign of competition on European shores as the best-placed rookie, with a victory and two further podium finishes to his name – and vowing to put all that he

Young Warwickshire karting star Jordan King has concluded his maiden campaign of competition on European shores as the best-placed rookie, with a victory and two further podium finishes to his name – and vowing to put all that he has learned towards a concerted title challenge in 2010.

Jordan is widely rated as one of Britain’s most exciting up-and-coming motorsport prospects, and this year he has ably demonstrated precisely why. Not only did he race to glory in the blue riband Kartmasters ‘GP’ outing at PF International, but he also lifted the laurels in the prestigious CIK-FIA Asia-Pacific Championship in Macau last month – and he has been a regular front-runner in the hotly-disputed WSK International Series season-long too, proving his mettle and holding his own in what is generally acknowledged to be the most fiercely competitive field in Europe.

What’s more, he has done so as a ‘rookie’ both at KF3 level and on the international scene, having only raced abroad for the first time barely 12 months ago. The 15-year-old headed into the last meeting of the 2009 WSK campaign – at Lonato in Italy – hopeful of a strong finish, but despite lapping right up at the sharp end throughout on his new Energy chassis, the traditional end-of-term over-exuberance of some of his adversaries contrived against him...

“I was really happy with my pace,” Jordan contended. “We were as quick as the leaders, and if we had been up at the front I think we would easily have been able to stay with them. That was really positive, especially taking into account that I had jumped into a new kart, which requires quite a different style of driving. It was my first time in it, and it took me a day to get used to it, I’d say – but after that we were rocking!”

Twentieth out of the 89 entrants in qualifying – a scant four tenths of a second shy of the top spot first time out on his new mount – was an encouraging way to begin, but seventh and eighth-place finishes in two of his heats were unfortunately undone when he found himself unwittingly used as a battering ram in the other two, leaving him with ‘nowhere to go’ as ‘carnage’ descended.

That left the Harbury ace facing a nervous wait to see if he would be one of the 28 competitors to graduate automatically to the finals later in the day or be forced to fight his way through in the ‘second-chance’ repêchage, unaccustomed territory for one of the WSK’s inarguable leading lights. Cruelly, he found himself 29th in the intermediate rankings, leaving him on pole position for the 36-strong repêchage at the end of which six drivers would go on to the finals, and 30 would go home disappointed.

Acknowledging that the pressure was on – ‘because you know you only have one chance’ – Jordan produced a flawlessly composed performance to lead from lights all the way to chequered flag, never far out of reach of the rest of the field, but equally never allowing anyone to get quite to within striking distance and breaking the spirit of his pursuers with a scintillating penultimate lap that sealed the deal.

A disastrous pre-final – when the Stuart Wright-run speed demon once again got shunted from behind on the opening lap following a lightning-fast getaway – left Jordan to begin the all-important grand final from 26th place, but by dint of a strong, consistent drive in the face of adversity, he battled his way grittily up through the order into 15th spot at the close to pinch the very last point of the season.

“I got another really good start and made up a lot of places on the first lap,” he recounted, “but then I got caught behind someone who had a broken axle, and because he was defending so much a lot of other drivers were able to latch onto the back of me. He finally went into the pits, but by then I had a whole train of karts behind, which made it a real fight.

“We got the last point on offer in the end, and whilst that was far from what we had gone to Lonato for, given where we had started and all the time we had lost early on in the race, I couldn’t be too unhappy with that. I was very happy with the kart, but just disappointed we couldn’t get the top five finish we’d been looking for.”

Ending the year eighth in the final points standings – and the second-highest placed of his countrymen, ahead of far more experienced campaigners including the 2008 British KF3 Champion – the status of top KF3 and European newcomer was a superb accomplishment. Not only was he one of only two rookies to win a final – from eighth on the grid at Sarno in Italy – but a brace rostrum finishes at Castelletto and Genk furthermore helped to mark Jordan out as one to watch.

“Genk was without doubt a massive highlight,” affirmed the Repton School pupil, “coming through from 30th to finish fifth. From fifth on the grid in the grand final I then got taken out at the first corner and sent down to last, and I came back through to third in the rain, lapping as much as a second-and-a-half quicker than anyone else on the track. To be that much faster than anyone else was pretty special; they actually cut the race short because of the weather, and had it run to its normal length I really believe I would have won.

“I’m happy with what we’ve achieved this year, winning Kartmasters and the CIK-FIA Asia-Pacific KF3 Championship, and with my performances in WSK – top rookie I think is pretty good for my first season. The only aspect I’m disappointed about is that at one stage earlier on in the year it was looking like we’d be able to finish inside the top three in the championship or even challenge for the title, but we then had some bad luck and it just went away from us.

“It’s definitely been a learning curve, and I’ve learned a lot. My driving and racecraft have both improved, I now know the tracks in Europe – even when I’ve had bad weekends and difficult situations I’ve learned from them –  and really every area in which it has been possible to improve I think I’ve done so.”

As he now prepares to raise the bar yet further and move things up a gear by graduating to the more powerful KF2 class in 2010, a more experienced, wiser and unquestionably devastatingly fast Jordan King insists he is ready to ‘do the business’. His rivals would do well to take note.

To keep up-to-date with Jordan's latest career news and results, please visit: www.jordanking.co.uk


- RA -  photo Chris Walker, kartpix.net

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/karting-jordan-king-kf3-rookie-year-top-class-pf-international-cik-fia-wsk---72754.html

09.11.2009 / MaP

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