King surges through the field in Jerez

Jordan King bounced back from a tricky qualifying session on Friday to storm through the field to finish in sixth place in race one before engine trouble prematurely ended his sprint race in Jerez.

This past weekend saw the FIA Formula Two paddock head to Jerez, Spain, for the series’ standalone event that marked the penultimate round of the 2017 season. With four races left to contest this year, this weekend provided a crucial opportunity for Jordan King to secure as many championship points as he could before the season finale in Abu Dhabi.

Starting the weekend’s action on Friday, Jordan’s weekend did not get off to the blistering start he had hoped for as he finished the weekend’s practice session down in 17th place. Despite the end result of the session, Jordan remained confident in his MP Motorsport car as he knew the pace was there to be unlocked.

Moving into qualifying, Jordan was a victim of traffic in the vital phase of the qualifying session. Looking certain to score a top-six spot for Saturday’s Feature Race, Jordan’s hot lap was compromised by traffic and the Bulova-sponsored driver could only settle for 14th place on the grid.

“Qualifying was a disappointing session as I definitely had the pace to make it into the top-six. Starting down in 14th isn’t great as it puts us on the backfoot from the outset but the pace is definitely there. Tomorrow should be an interesting race trying to make my way through the pack!”

Feature Race

Temperatures soared in Jerez as the grid lined up for the first race of the weekend. When the lights went out, Jordan got a blistering start off the line as he passed two cars before the first corner. Scrapping throughout the opening lap of the race, Jordan crossed the line at the end of the first lap in 13th place as he stayed with the drivers in front through the opening laps.

Nursing his medium compound tyres through the opening stages of the race, Jordan stayed out as most of the field, who started on the soft tyre, came into the pits for their early stop. Eventually passing Santino Ferrucci, Jordan moved himself into 3rd place as the race passed the halfway stage and Jordan’s mandatory stop drew ever closer.

Diving into the pits at the end of lap 24, Jordan’s stop saw him rejoin the action in 17th place as he switched onto the faster soft compound tyre for the final phase of the race. Making his way rapidly through the field, Jordan was surging up the order when an accident saw the safety car being brought out with just six laps of the race left.

After running on his soft tyres for almost ten laps and still out of the points-paying positions, Jordan took a big gamble to come into the pits for a second time for another set of fresh soft compound tyres. Coming out of the pits in 17th place, Jordan was way off the leaders and nine-seconds down on 16th place as the safety car pulled in and the race restarted.

With his new boots on, Jordan began flying up the order and was picking the drivers off one by one as he surged his way up the standings and finally into the top-ten with just two laps of the race left to run.

Passing his teammate, Sergio Sette Camara, for 7th place, Jordan carried on his attack up the grid and was fighting with Luca Ghiotto through the final lap on the race. On the final corner of the final lap, Jordan managed to get down the inside of the Italian and crossed the line in 6thplace to complete a sensational drive through the field!

“That was a fun race! A lot happened today and I was constantly going up and down the order which made it a crazy race. We made a gamble deciding to come into the pits but I was confident it was the right decision as I knew how much the other guys would be struggling on the medium tyre that they had been on for over 20-25 laps! It was a lot of fun coming through the field and I wish there were a few more laps as we definitely could have launched an attack for the podium.”

Sprint Race

After finishing the weekend’s Feature Race in 6th place, Jordan achieved a 3rd place start for the Sprint Race. Getting a great start off the line, Jordan got himself up the inside of Luca Ghiotto into turn one and the pair of drivers remained side by side through the first corner. Not backing out of his move, Jordan stayed on the offensive and eventually made the move stick into turn two.

As Jordan began to stretch a gap away from Nicholas Latifi, disaster struck on lap four for the MP Motorsport driver. A spectacular engine blow out saw Jordan’s race come to a premature end as his hopes of a first podium finish of the season were crushed.

“I’m sure I was in for a victory today! Running P2 and my engine blows up – I’m sure the dice will roll in my favour sooner rather than later but today’s result is extremely frustrating. There’s not much left to do but hope that I can get a good engine put in the car for the final two races and go on maximum attack when we get to Abu Dhabi.”

Jordan now sits 11th in the Drivers’ Championship as the series heads to Abu Dhabi for the final round of the 2017 season and Jordan will be looking to pick up as many points as possible to add to his 58-point tally that he departs Jerez with.