By Jamie Arrowsmith 06/03 Updated: 13/03 09:31
TALENTED single-seater star Jordan King has been touted as one to watch in 2012 as he steps up to the European scene full-time with Manor MP Motorsport.
During his maiden campaign of car racing competition off the back of a highly successful karting career, King drove for Manor Competition in the 2011 Formula Renault UK Championship and MP Motorsport in Formula Renault NEC, tallying four podium finishes and sensationally storming to pole position around legendary Italian Grand Prix venue Monza.
Having duly served his single-seater apprenticeship, the highly-rated Stoneleigh-based speed demon and BRDC Rising Star admits he was ‘tempted’ by flattering offers from teams eager to run him further up the ladder in GP3 and Formula 3 this year.
But King felt the best approach would be to remain in Formula Renault, albeit this time raising the bar with a full-scale assault on both the Northern European Cup and the fiercely-contested Eurocup.
There, the Princethorpe College A-Level student will pit himself directly against no fewer than 33 international adversaries of the very highest calibre around circuits including Paul Ricard, Hungaroring, Catalunya and the legendary Nürburging and Spa-Francorchamps, some of which will be uncharted territory.
With Manor Competition and MP Motorsport having joined forces, however, he will at least be in familiar surroundings and is excited about the challenge that lies ahead.
King said: “I’m really looking forward to it all and having been to some of the tracks before is a massive confidence boost.
“Going to Europe is definitely the best way to advance my career. There’s no question in my mind that it’s the right move now but I’m under absolutely no illusions about what I’m going into - the competition is going to be massive.
"It’s probably going to be the toughest year I’ve had in my racing career so far, but I want it to be another successful one and to make progress again.
“I’m feeling pretty confident, and I’m excited about the prospect of racing on some real F1 circuits. I can’t wait to get started!”
Manor MP Motorsport team manager Tony Shaw is convinced that 18-year-old King is well-placed to make the most of his new opportunity by featuring up at the sharp end right from the start.
He said: “Jordan’s progress in 2011 was excellent. He has learnt so much about where the limit is and how to push to it but not over it and he is an incredibly smooth driver, very accurate and with excellent feedback.
"We are a superstitious lot in racing so I wouldn’t want to make a prediction as such, but saying that, we aim to challenge at every event - and with Jordan, we’ve certainly got the driver we want in that regard.”
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