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By Jamie Arrowsmith Monday 26 November 2012 Updated: 28/11 14:30
JORDAN King has been tipped to enjoy a successful career in motorsport after turning heads during a rookie test session behind the wheel of a 530bhp World Series by Renault single-seater at Motorland Aragón in Spain.
The Stoneleigh ace was invited to try out the Dallara-designed chassis - whose 3.5-litre, V8 engine produces more than two-and-a-half times the level of horsepower he has been used to this season - as a reward for clinching the runner-up spoils in the fiercely-contested Formula Renault Northern European Cup with Manor MP Motorsport.
During an impressive campaign he defeated some 52 high-calibre rivals and claimed no fewer than nine podiums and 13 top five finishes along the way.
Despite needing to rapidly get his head around not only the greater power and downforce but also details such as throttle map settings and a plethora of steering wheel-mounted controls, the gifted young driver wasted little time in demonstrating just what a quick learner he is.
King’s rigorous fitness regime paid off handsomely and the 18-year-old was soon lapping within a second of the leading pace on old tyres.
King enthused: “I loved it and actually found the car quite easy to drive.
"Handling the extra power isn’t a problem - it’s the additional downforce generated by the big rear wing that is the major thing to adjust to.
"The balance is excellent and the World Series car has a ridiculous amount of grip - I was able to go 30mph faster into the corners than I’m used to and still brake later. The perception of speed is just completely different.
“The guys in the team were extremely helpful and it was a really enjoyable and worthwhile experience - one from which I learnt a lot. It was quite an eye-opener, and I feel it has benefitted me enormously.
"The World Series is one of the quickest racing cars around and it’s pretty overwhelming, to tell the truth, to think I’ve just driven something that’s not too far below F1!”
Indeed, a whole host of the championship’s alumni now grace the grand prix grid, including the likes of freshly-crowned three-time F1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel, Williams’ Pastor Maldonado, Scuderia Toro Rosso duo Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne and Marussia newcomer Charles Pic.
King makes no secret of his determination to one day follow in their illustrious wheeltracks although he knows with only two full campaigns of car racing competition under his belt, a World Series graduation would likely represent slightly too ambitious a step right now.
“I certainly don’t think I’d be out-of-my-depth in the championship, but it might be just a bit too much, too soon for 2013,” added King.
“Wherever I race, I’m not interested in making up the numbers - I want to be competitive and have a chance of winning. I think a year at an intermediate stage is the right way to go and then we’ll see what happens in the future.”
Roberto Venieri, team manager of BVM Target, for whom King tested in Spain, was left with few doubts regarding King's potential to compete at the pinnacle of the sport, waxing lyrical about his performance inside the cockpit during his World Series baptism.
“Jordan showed a high degree of professionalism and commitment to quickly get to grips with the car, which is known to be a very difficult single-seater to drive,” Venieri remarked.
“We also found him to be very well-prepared physically compared to the other Formula Renault 2.0-litre drivers.
"We are convinced that he has both the ability and the talent to enjoy a successful motor racing career.”
Jordan King gets to grips with the 530bhp World Series in Spain. Photo's supplied by Dutch Photo Agency. (s)
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