As just one of the drivers for Carlin Racing that were powered by Volkswagen in this year’s FIA Formula 3 Championship, Stoneligh’s Jordan King was given the chance alongside Harry Tincknell to have a go behind the wheel of an Audi A4 DTM race car the other week at Monteblanco in Spain.
King, who claimed top rookie honours in his first season in the championship, also has had a good run of form in the British Formula Three International Series, becoming series champion, along with a very credible fifth place in the Macau Grand Prix, that has seen drivers from the pantheon of racing compete on the tight and tricky Guia Circuit.
Audi Sport gave the McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver finalist from 2012 a chance to prove his skills, as the recently-promoted MSA Team UK member found himself with a roof above his head for the first time in this sort of test, but it just shows the confidence that outfits such as Ingolstadt look to future talent for expanding their ranks.
The 19-year-old had driven a Mercedes-Benz C-Class at the shootout for the McLaren award at Silvestone, but craved another go behind the wheel: “It was cold and wet so conditions weren’t very representative and I was really looking forward to having a proper go on a dry track with new tyres.”
He did go on to explain the differences from a V8-powered DTM car to a Formula 3 Dallara F312 that he has been racing in this year: “It did feel quite different to my F3 car; the basics are obviously very similar, but the nuances are in their distinct characteristics. The F3 is more responsive, but the flipside is that you can manhandle the DTM car a bit more and bounce over the kerbs – whereas in the F3, you wouldn’t dare touch them! You can get the Audi slightly sideways and it’s no major issue. That does demand a slightly different driving style, but fundamentally it’s still a racing car – and a very good racing car, too.”
The Briton was put through his paces over the three days of extensive work that took place both on and off track, with a variety of tasks with the engineers when it came to data analysis and set-up, making the best of media skills training and finding Timo Scheider and Adrien Tambay‘s advice to be very helpful. He was also impressed with the consistency that he managed to achieve over 14 laps of dry running: “It’s a very technologically-advanced piece of kit and probably the nearest thing to a single-seater outside of an actual single-seater. We didn’t have that long to learn and adapt to its intricacies, but I felt like I got to grips with it fairly quickly and I just concentrated on doing a solid job and giving a good account of myself.”
King himself admitted that even though his ultimate goal is to reach Formula One, this test has broadened his options for whatever he may decide to do in his future as a racing driver. Racing drivers’ futures are never set in stone, but anything is possible when an opportunity presents itself.