British racing driver Jordan King has stated that he was happy with the speed he had in the Verizon IndyCar Series season-opening race, the 2018 Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, but he was disappointed that a strong result got away from him after he was hit with a puncture.
The sheer speed of the #20 Ed Carpenter Racing driver was arguably the biggest surprise of last weekend’s race weekend. King, who has raced for the last few years in FIA Formula Two, was fast straight out of the gate. In Saturday’s qualifying session, Jordan set the fastest lap of anyone in round one with a 1:00.0476, a lap-time good enough to break the previous track record set by Will Power. In fact, after the session, King stated that he thought he “should have been a bit quicker!”
Sadly, King wouldn’t be able to replicate his lap in the first session when it came to decide who would start on pole position, but nevertheless, the 24-year-old went on to qualify fourth for his debut race. After an early race restart, King would briefly take the lead of the race from fellow rookie Robert Wickens, but he would soon fall back in later laps.
King’s race came undone on lap thirty-three of the race when he suffered a puncture. The tyre going down put him into the wall and forced him to head to the pit-lane for repairs. This put him three laps down and in twenty-first place by the end of the race.
Despite the disappointing result, King remains pleased with his first weekend in the Verizon IndyCar Series:
“On the positive, I led my first Indy car race. It is nice to be able to say that!” said King, “I am reserved, so I didn’t actually do it, but I did have a little bit of a mental fist pump in my mind when we took the lead.
“The speed was really good during the race, we genuinely had the pace to challenge for the race win. After the first stop, we picked up a puncture and slid against the wall and had some damage. It was frustrating more than anything to be hindered by that.
“Overall, I am happy from the sense that the speed is there, but disappointed to throw away a result. I know not every weekend is going to be like this, but it was great to be fast and challenging for the race win. It just hurts a bit when you throw away a good result like that!”
Jordan is running a partial schedule of the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series. He is sharing the #20 ECR Chevrolet with team-owner Ed Carpenter. King will run all of the road course and street circuit races, with Carpenter taking over for the ovals. King’s next race will be at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, the third round of the championship, that takes place on April 15.