Warwickshire racing driver Jordan King is aiming for podium finishes in his first full car racing season after re-signing with Manor Competition for the 2011 Formula Renault UK Championship. The 17 year old made his debut with the team in the 2010 Winter Series and found it an 'easy decision' to stay with the team for the upcoming campaign.
The Princethorpe College student was consistently in the top half of the field during the Winter Series in November, with a best finish of sixth place at Pembrey. King has been spending his time since testing across the country and has impressed, including setting the third fastest lap time at Brands Hatch.
King admits to learning lots over the testing period, commenting: “Everything feels a lot easier now, which is all down to spending more time in the seat and having more experience of the car. We've made a big leap forward over the winter, and it's really encouraging to be up there on lap times with drivers who are going into their fourth year of car racing, and ahead of other drivers with a lot more experience than me. If I can stay in front of them for even half of the races this year, I'll be happy with that.
“Our speed in testing has been really good, and I'm very happy with how it's all been going so far. We've found a few things in terms of set-up, and now we just need to optimise the performance of the package. It's looking quite good.”
The recently crowned BRDC Rising Star believes much of his improvement is down to the work of Manor, the most successful team in Formula Renault UK History.
King added: “We got to the stage where everything had gone well with Manor. We had made good progress together and I know all the people there, so once we decided to stay in Formula Renault for the full UK championship, it was quite an easy decision to re-sign with Manor, too.
“They've got a good background, obviously, and have done really well in the past – and for a young driver like me, that's really confidence-inspiring. We didn't really have a second thought about which team to go with.
“I get on really well with the other three drivers in the team and we all have a laugh together, and I've developed a good relationship with my engineer and mechanic and the driver coach, too. The team has been really welcoming and supportive, and I feel very settled there now. I feel confident everyone is behind me, and that's a good position in which to be going into the season.
“I don't know how many drivers will be competing in total yet, but I would like to end up as the top car racing rookie, and to win the Graduate Cup as well. For the opening round at Brands Hatch, I'd love to get a podium finish – and from the speed we've shown in testing, I think that's achievable.”
Manor Team Principal Tony Shaw believes King can make an impact from Round One, commenting: “We are very happy to have Jordan at Manor for his first full year in Formula Renault UK. He showed in the short Winter Series, and in subsequent testing, that he has a healthy appetite for the competitive nature of 'slicks-and-wings' single-seaters. His grounding and success in karting has set him up very well for the future, and we look forward to enjoying success with Jordan as a Manor driver.”