Jordan King completes challenging first Indianapolis 500

25-year-old Jordan King successfully finished his first ever Indianapolis 500 at the weekend, but a pit-lane incident and subsequent drive-through penalty prohibited the British driver from a strong finish.

After qualifying for the 103rd Indianapolis 500 in 26th position with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, Jordan made the rolling start to Sunday’s race from the ninth row of the 33 car grid having been fourth fastest of the field in Friday’s ‘Carb Day’.

Away from the line, Jordan worked hard to progress through the field. With one-quarter of the race distance completed at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the British driver had made up several positions to be lapping the 2.5-mile circuit in 21st place.

Having made a solid start to the race, the time came to make his second pit stop of the event, Jordan was involved in a pit-lane accident with one of his crew members.

On his entry to his pit box, which was made even tighter by a car in the pit box before his, he ran into his rear-right Firestone tyre which then came into contact with Chris Minot – the team’s chief mechanic for the entry, and outside front tyre changer. Unfortunately, Minot was injured and knocked to the ground, which understandably lengthened the time of Jordan’s stop considerably as the wellbeing of Jordan’s crew took priority.

After the tough stop, Jordan returned to the race track where he set about making up for the lost time. Doing well, he was running in 20th when he was told to take a drive-through penalty for the collision with equipment and crew in the pit lane. Now three laps down after the penalty was served, Jordan had a lot of work to do to finish the race in a strong position.

A red flag incident occurred in the final stint of the race when his team-mate Graham Rahal was involved in an accident which took out a total of five drivers. With the proceedings halted, Jordan was able to compose himself for the last 14-lap shootout which was to come.

When the safety car released the field for the final time, Jordan was in P24 and remained this way until Jordan crossed the finish line after an intense 500-mile race.

Since the pit lane accident, Chris Minot – known as Chachi – has had surgery on his leg and has been discharged from hospital.

“I’m thinking about Chachi, obviously,” Jordan said. “I’m really disappointed in myself for the team – really for everybody.

“I think we had a pretty strong car. We were looking quite strong and making progress. Looking at how the race finished, I think we could’ve been in the top 10, so that’s quite hard to swallow.
“First bit of call was to check that everything’s okay at the hospital. It’s not good, it’s not what you want to do [injure a crewman]. I don’t even know what to say. I’m really disappointed in myself and for everyone involved. We could have had a good race but didn’t, so that’s that.”

Jordan’s next race will take him back to sportscar racing and the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans on 15/16 June, where he will compete in the LMP2 class with Jackie Chan DC Racing x Jota Sport.