As he revs up towards his second full campaign of car racing competition in 2012, talented young Warwickshire star Jordan King is set to journey down south to the other half of the world at the beginning of the year – to compete in the Toyota Racing Series in New Zealand.
The country’s premier, fastest and most fiercely competitive single-seater championship, the Toyota Racing Series will be spread over five weekends spanning the period from mid-January to mid-February and visiting tracks at Teretonga, Timaru, Taupo, Hampton Downs and Manfeild.
The one-make, slicks n’ wings formula – marrying a Tatuus-designed carbon-fibre chassis to a 215bhp Toyota engine – will not only guarantee a level playing-field, but should also not be a million miles away from what Jordan has been accustomed to in Formula Renault UK this year. Little wonder, then, that the highly-rated Stoneleigh-based speed demon and BRDC Rising Star is champing at the bit to get out there.
“We first thought about entering the Toyota Racing Series last winter,” he explained, “because it’s the only opportunity to get some decent running in good weather at this time of year, especially with the testing ban in the UK. We ended up going to India instead, which obviously worked out really well for us, but people were still telling us that we should try New Zealand, too, and to be honest, when we looked into it all properly, it seemed a logical thing to do.”
The Indian trip to which Jordan alludes – competing in the MRF Formula Championship – was indeed a tremendously successful one, yielding title glory in front of all the influential F1 movers-and-shakers on the Indian Grand Prix support package in October.
The 17-year-old Princethorpe College student will have an opportunity to similarly impress in New Zealand, for having signed up to race for front-running outfit M2, he will find himself pitched directly against former karting sparring-partner and Ferrari Driver Academy member Raffaele Marciello as his team-mate – and if he can get the better of the well-regarded Italian, then it will significantly enhance Jordan’s reputation and career prospects.“I’m hoping to gain a lot of seat time, learn some different circuits, build up my level of experience and generally just progress my career a little bit further again,” the Hugo Boss brand ambassador revealed of his objectives. “It’s always important to try to keep your hand in and stay race-sharp and fit over the winter ‘off’ season, and it should be beneficial in terms of helping to hone my racecraft.“If it’s anything like it looked to be this year, then the competition will certainly be pretty tough, with GP3, F3 and Formula Renault drivers there from across Europe and some extremely good local and Asian drivers as well. I’m definitely anticipating a high-calibre field, and hopefully, that should generate some close and exciting racing.“I would love to come away with some good results – top rookie or top Brit might be a good starting-point to aim for – and feeling like I’ve really achieved something worthwhile. That would be a good confidence boost ahead of the main 2012 season. It will clearly be a tall order, but if we can do something similar to what we did in India, that would be amazing.”