Jordan King has been tipped to enjoy a successful career in motorsport after turning heads during a rookie test session behind the wheel of a 530bhp World Series by Renault single-seater at Motorland Aragn in Spain.
King was invited to try out the Dallara-designed chassis whose 3.5-litre, V8 engine produces more than two-and-a-half times the level of horsepower he has been used to this season as a reward for clinching the runner-up spoils in the fiercely-contested Formula Renault Northern European Cup with Manor MP Motorsport, defeating some 52 high-calibre rivals and tallying no fewer than nine podiums and 13 top five finishes along the way.
Despite needing to rapidly get his head around not only the greater power and downforce but also details such as throttle map settings and a plethora of steering wheel-mounted controls, the gifted young Warwickshire ace wasted little time in demonstrating just what a quick learner he is.
Describing the World Series car as much more physical than its smaller 2.0-litre sibling that he has been accustomed to, Kings rigorous fitness regime paid off handsomely, and the 18-year-old McLaren AUTOSPORT Award finalist, British Racing Drivers Club (BRDC) Rising Star and MSA Academy member was soon lapping within a second of the leading pace on old tyres. It was, by any measure, an impressive effort.
I loved it! he enthused. I actually found the car quite easy to drive; handling the extra power isnt a problem its the additional downforce generated by the big rear wing that is the major thing to adjust to. The balance is excellent and the World Series car has a ridiculous amount of grip I was able to go 30mph faster into the corners than Im used to and still brake later. The perception of speed is just completely different.
The guys in the team were extremely helpful and all-in-all, it was a really enjoyable and worthwhile experience one from which I learnt a lot. It was quite an eye-opener, and I feel it has benefitted me enormously. The World Series is one of the very quickest racing cars around, and its pretty overwhelming, to tell the truth, to think Ive just driven something thats not too far below F1!
Indeed, a whole host of the championships alumni now grace the grand prix grid, including the likes of freshly-crowned three-time F1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel, Williams Pastor Maldonado, Scuderia Toro Rosso duo Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne and Marussia newcomer Charles Pic, not to mention double title-winner Fernando Alonso and Caterhams Heikki Kovalainen from the erstwhile World Series by Nissan era.
King makes no secret of his determination to one day follow in their illustrious wheeltracks though evincing a wise head on his teenage shoulders, he cautions that with only two full campaigns of car racing competition under his belt, a World Series graduation would likely represent slightly too ambitious a step right now.
I certainly dont think Id be out-of-my-depth in the championship, but it might be just a bit too much, too soon for 2013, the highly-rated Stoneleigh-based speed demon candidly conceded. At the end of the day, wherever I race, Im not interested in making up the numbers I want to be competitive and have a chance of winning. I think a year at an intermediate stage first is the right way to go, and then well see what happens in the future...
Roberto Venieri team manager of BVM Target, for whom King tested in Spain was palpably left with few doubts regarding the Hugo Boss brand ambassadors potential to compete at the pinnacle of the sport, waxing lyrical about his performance inside the cockpit during his World Series baptism.
Jordan showed a high degree of professionalism and commitment to quickly get to grips with the car, which is known to be a very difficult single-seater to drive, Venieri remarked. We also found him to be very well-prepared physically compared to the other Formula Renault 2.0-litre drivers. We are convinced that he has both the ability and the talent to enjoy a successful motor racing career.