Warwickshire-based Jordan King ended his maiden single-seater campaign on a high by clinching the 2011 Delhi MRF Championship, a two-race event that took place on the support bill of the inaugural Indian Grand Prix.
A busy season has seen King compete in the Formula Renault UK Championship, Formula Renault Northern European Cup, FIA Formula Two Championship and Formula MRF Championship, but the India races were without doubt the biggest of his career to date.
King, up again nineteen racers from across the world, said: “The competition was pretty tough. It was a strong grid and there were quite a few international drivers there, as well as of course locals – and it's a mega circuit! It's quite tight but also fast with an average speed of almost 100mph.
“I think I put myself under quite a lot of pressure, because I wanted to win so much to end the season on a real high. The atmosphere was just amazing; there was a really big crowd there to watch the grand prix, and a huge amount of media interest with it being the first F1 race in India. The journalists didn't ask me a lot of questions ahead of the weekend though; I don't think anybody really expected me to be the quickest, and I was quite happy to stay under the radar and then surprise them all.”
The 17-year-old BRDC Rising Star was comfortably the quickest in his Team Sidvin-prepared car, however traffic problems and a red flag means he would only start third and second on the grid for the two races. He made amends in the opening race though, fighting back after dropping positions on the opening lap to take a great second place.
King commented: “I got a really good launch off the line at the start of race one to move immediately up into second, but then I got lunged into the first corner and had to run out wide to avoid a crash. That left me compromised and on the outside line going up the hill, and I dropped down to fourth.
“I regained second by the end of lap three, but by then the gap ahead to the leader was too large to close. I still kept pushing and set fastest lap. I was happy enough with the result, though, as it meant that if I won the following day, I would be champion no matter what.”
The second encounter saw King chase down Australian V8 Supercar driver Nick Percat for the lead, diving past down the inside, causing some slight contact between the two. This dropped King back into second, but he fought back once again to take the win and with it the championship and $50,000 in prize money.
King concluded: “It was almost the perfect weekend all-in-all, and definitely the best possible way to end the season. It could barely have gone any better. Given the occasion and the fact that the opposition was of as high a standard as I've been facing all year, it was probably my best achievement in cars so far.”