By Jamie Arrowsmith 25/01 Updated: 31/01 11:44
JORDAN KING rebounded from a fast-but-fruitless opening weekend in New Zealand's Toyota Racing Series at Teretonga with a podium charge second time out at Timaru.
The podium finish underlined his status as one of the most talented young single-seater stars in either hemisphere.
The Series is New Zealand’s most fiercely competitive single-seater championship and qualifying second-quickest amongst the 19 contenders on his debut at Teretonga saw King lay down an early marker.
“I really enjoyed the track,” enthused the 17-year-old Stoneleigh-based speed demon.
“Even though the lap was quite short and didn’t take me particularly long to learn, it was still very demanding and posed plenty of new challenges.
"The level of competition is strong, too, and it was all a bit of a step into the unknown for me since I hadn’t raced against any of the other drivers in cars before."
A flurry of bad luck in the three rain-affected races resulted in a brace of failures to finish and a solitary tenth place but King bounced back in fine style a week later at Timaru.
Qualifying in eighth position, the Princethorpe College student converted that form into seventh spot in race one, less than four seconds shy of victory.
And then in race two, he really raised the bar by finishing third.
King said: “It was a challenging circuit and it took a session to get to grips with but I ended testing at the top of the timesheets.
"We seemed to lose a little bit of speed in qualifying though, and combined with traffic, that left us only eighth when we should have been inside the top five or maybe even top three.
“The first race was tough, with very little opportunity to overtake which was a shame, as our pace was good enough for the top five.
"In race two, the conditions were quite slippery and I was very quick again over the opening laps.
"As other drivers made mistakes towards the end we picked up some places and wound up third, which I was really pleased about – it’s always good to finish on the podium.
“In race three, I was in fifth pretty much throughout and right up behind the gearbox of the driver ahead.
"On the last lap, I successfully pulled off a move on him to take fourth position, but then I missed a downshift and ran wide, which left me sixth.”
King who is now looking ahead now to the remaining outings at Taupo, Hampton Downs and Manfeild in buoyant mood.
He added: “The form we’ve shown so far is very encouraging and I think we’ve proved that our speed is good enough to win.”
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