– as pre-season testing programme gathers pace
Already a British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) Rising Star, Jordan King’s burgeoning motorsport career has picked up further momentum as the gifted young Warwickshire single-seater ace has been inducted into the prestigious MSA Academy.
Run by Britain’s motorsport governing body, the MSA Academy – whose motto is ‘Driving Talent Forwards’ – offers training sessions with specialist coaches to enable members to draw upon a wealth of knowledge and expertise to develop and enhance their own career prospects. Jordan acknowledges that his inclusion is another feather in his cap and a notable addition to his increasingly impressive racing CV – and he admits it is an honour to have been chosen.
“The MSA select a certain number of drivers every year to benefit from PR, physical and mental guidance,” explains the highly-rated Stoneleigh-based speed demon. “They offer career advice, and I’ll have the opportunity to go along to some of the events, seminars and workshops they hold. There’s an awful lot of experience inside the MSA that I’ll be able to learn from – and it’s good for British motorsport to have young drivers in the country working together this way.”
“As somebody who stepped into single-seaters off the back of a hugely successful karting career, Jordan has quickly made an impact within the world of car racing,” adds MSA Academy co-ordinator Greg Symes. “This year, he has taken the bold step of graduating to the European stage, where he will encounter not only tough competition but a host of new circuits – and that simply highlights his ambition to reach the highest ranks within the sport.”
Indeed, Jordan is currently in the midst of an exhaustive pre-season testing programme ahead of his debut in 2012 in the fiercely-contested Formula Renault Eurocup with Manor MP Motorsport – and the first official group outing around the Circuit Ricardo Tormo at Valencia in Spain was irrefutably a positive one.
“On the opening day, we were just bedding everything in, really,” reveals the Princethorpe College A-Level student. “We put new tyres on towards the end and wound up sixth-quickest, but it was quite a scrappy run, to be honest, because with almost 40 cars at the test, there was a lot of traffic. It was difficult to find clear air, and the difference between old tyres and new tyres around that circuit is pretty big, so you would catch drivers on older rubber quite quickly.”
The plan for day two – Jordan’s 18th birthday – was to push harder, but unfortunately, battery problems in the morning cost him track time and with it the best of the conditions, leaving him an entirely unrepresentative half-a-second shy of the benchmark.
Bolting on fresh rubber for the afternoon session, however, saw the Hugo Boss brand ambassador leap eye-catchingly to the top of the timesheets by a significant margin, and he was still the fastest driver in attendance when he had to leave to catch his flight home, ultimately concluding proceedings an excellent fourth.
Palpably enjoying working with his Dutch colleagues at Manor MP Motorsport, who surprised him with the unique birthday present of fluffy clogs – “They’re a really good bunch of lads; they take their racing seriously, of course, but they have some fun at the same time and we’re getting on really well together,” he reflects – Jordan is in justifiably optimistic spirits looking ahead.
“We found a little bit of work we need to do in certain areas at the test, because there are always teething issues with any new car, but overall, it felt pretty good,” he concludes. “I think our form was really encouraging. We definitely seem to be there or thereabouts speed-wise, we’ve made a lot of progress with the car – and best of all, there’s plenty more still to come!”