Jordan King suffered a tricky weekend during Rounds Thirteen and Fourteen of the 2011 CERTINA Formula Renault 2.0 UK Championship at Silverstone, the Manor Competition driver having trouble with a disobedient wing mirror and an ambitious rival.
King arrived at the British Grand Prix venue fired up to achieve a strong result after his heartache last time out at Snetterton, where he was punted out of the lead on the penultimate lap when he looked set for his maiden series victory. The pace showed there made him confident heading to Silverstone.
The car racing rookie said: “When we'd tested at Silverstone back at the start of the season, I had been inside the top five and I knew I had improved a lot since then, so I was feeling pretty confident going into the weekend. I really enjoy driving the track – it's the only proper F1 circuit in the country and the longest on the calendar, and it usually generates some good racing.”
The Warwickshire-based racer went second quickest in practice, the fastest of the Graduate Cup runners, but was not quite able to match this pace in qualifying, believing a change in conditions and some of his rivals having more track time than him hampered his progress. King ended up seventh and sixth on the grid for the two races.
Looking back at race one, the 17 year old reflected: “I got a decent start and held my position, and heading into the new section halfway around the first lap, I gained a place to move into sixth – but then a couple of laps later, my right-hand side wing mirror fell out of its casing. Someone went up the inside of me, but because I couldn't see them coming, I didn't defend. That cost me quite a bit of time, and I lost several places due to it.
“I recovered one position, but then the gap to the group in front was too big – I was closing it down slowly, but there wasn't enough time to make a difference and we ended up eighth. We were a little bit off pace-wise, but what we had was still raceable and without the wing mirror issue we could probably have fought for the top five.”
He hoped for a better result in race two, recalling: “In race two, I got a really good start off the line to move immediately up to fourth, but then somebody went to the inside of me into the first corner and pushed me out very wide onto the grass – and because it was so slippery, I fell all the way down to the bottom of the order.
“I focussed on working my way back, though, overtook some drivers and some others crashed, which lifted me to ninth. I caught the pack ahead by the end of the race, too, but they all defended well so there was no way past. That was frustrating again, because we definitely had the pace to have finished on the podium.”
The Hugo Boss brand ambassador was disappointed with the weekend's results, but has a chance to bounce back straight away with his third outing in the Formula Renault Northern European Cup at Most in the Czech Republic this weekend.
King concluded: “Overall, it was disappointing really. Our speed was good in the end, but we were damaged by the comparative lack of running earlier on – we just lacked a little bit of consistency, and we didn't come away with a result. I've driven Most on a simulator, and from what I can tell, the track looks really good fun. We had the pace for two podiums in the last Northern European Cup meeting at Zandvoort and came so close to achieving that, so we've got to be aiming to put that right this time around.”