Jordan King and Ed Carpenter Racing split after one season

by Jordan Groves
Jordan King (GBR), 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series, Ed Carpenter Racing, Indianapolis

2018 Verizon IndyCar Series rookie Jordan King has confirmed that he will not be racing with Ed Carpenter Racing in the series next year. The British driver, who impressed on numerous occasions throughout the season but never quite managed to get a decent race result under his belt.

King drove the #20 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet for all the road course and street circuit races on the calendar, with his boss, Ed Carpenter, taking over the car for the oval races. Despite being a surprising pick, King showed he had great speed early on in the season. However, lacklustre race results – presumably coupled with other unknown reasons – have meant that the partnership between Jordan and ECR will end after just one season.

King revealed in an interview with RACER that he and his team were busy working on other options for 2019 after his split from ECR, with the Brit saying that he felt he had “proven a lot” and hoped that the “great platform” he had built in 2018 would earn him a chance with another team. He went on to hint, however, that his chance may not come in IndyCar, saying that he wanted an opportunity “in whatever form that takes.”

“We are currently working on options for 2019 after Ed Carpenter provided an excellent learning curve for 2018,” King told RACER. “This year has been a great platform but 2019 is another chapter with some exciting plans ahead that, as a package, will give me the opportunity to show my potential even further.

“I feel like I have proven a lot this year and my single-seater career to date only serves as further proof that I am a race winner — that is what I love doing and pride myself upon. I want to be given that opportunity again for 2019 in whatever form that takes. I relished the challenge of embracing a new team and culture this year and enter next year as a more complete driver and person because of it.”

When King was first announced as an Ed Carpenter Racing IndyCar driver for the road courses and street circuits of the 2018 season, it was seen as somewhat of a surprise. King, who had spent his entire career racing in Europe on the ladder toward Formula 1, was an unexpected addition to the IndyCar grid, but thoughts that he may not be good enough were all but dashed at the first race of the season.

The former Manor Racing F1 test driver was thrown right in at the deep end when he arrived for round one at St. Petersburg, but the British driver impressed massively. He set a new lap record in qualifying en-route to making it all the way to the final round of qualifying an eventual grid spot of fourth.

Jordan King (GBR), 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series, Ed Carpenter Racing, St. Petersburg

Credit: Chris Jones / Courtesy of IndyCar

Sadly for King, his strong grid position failed to translate into a decent finish. A puncture would see the Briton fall way down the order and end up taking the chequered flag three laps down on the leaders. Despite the poor finish, the weekend as a whole did a lot for King, putting him on the radar for many people who may not previously have known about him.

After making a name for himself in the first weekend, Jordan stated in an interview with The Checkered Flag that he believed he had the potential to replicate what he did at St. Petersburg, race in, race out. Sadly, King replicated his results from St. Petersburg a little too well.

Throughout his remaining races of the season, King would frequently impress in qualifying and show great one-lap speed. However, race after race, for numerous reasons, he would not manage to get a decent race result. There were a number of occasions where he looked set to take a top five or maybe even a podium finish, but multiple issues meant that King would end his part-time campaign of eleven races without a single top ten finish to his name.

King admitted in his interview with RACER today that his race results failed to back up his qualifying performances, but he went on state that he and ECR had learned “harsh lessons.” 

“Our one-lap pace was really strong throughout the season and that is a pretty good sign in terms of how I got to grip with the series from the outset,” King told RACER. “Our results in the races didn’t quite replicate this but we had our fair share of bad luck and mechanical issues. Race strategy is of course incredibly important in IndyCar and we learned some harsh lessons as a team throughout the year.”

It is not yet known where King will end up in 2019, nor who will replace him at Ed Carpenter Racing. One rumour doing the rounds is that Ed Jones will take the spot as part of an alliance between Ed Carpenter Racing and sportscar team Scuderia Corsa; who made their IndyCar debut in the Indianapolis 500 this year. This, however, is unconfirmed as of now.

The 2019 IndyCar Series will kick off with the season-opening Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, which will take place on Sunday, March 10.

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