As he revs up towards the start of what is likely to be the most important season of his career to-date, Jordan King has accelerated his preparations by joining an MSA Team UK training camp in the French Alps, which he admits taught him a great deal about both himself and his contemporaries.
Just days after picking up his trophy for clinching the prestigious British Formula Three International Series crown in 2013 at the Motor Sports Association’s glittering ‘Night of Champions’, the gifted Warwickshire single-seater ace was boarding a ‘plane bound for Chamonix for his first major outing as a fully-fledged member of the elite Team UK initiative, the pinnacle of the MSA Academy’s young talent support scheme.
This included helping them to identify their individual strengths and weaknesses, and explaining how to exploit the former and address the latter through the Insights Discovery profiling model. Subsequent activities over the four days included rock climbing, abseiling, orienteering and even igloo-building, alongside classroom workshops, presentations and review and analysis sessions with the MSA coaches.
King acknowledges that it was an eye-opening experience, and as he bids to improve upon what was a magnificent maiden campaign of Formula 3 level competition last year with Carlin – yielding not only the coveted British laurels but also leading rookie honours and a top six championship finish in Europe, as well as fastest lap in the Macau Grand Prix showpiece for good measure – the 19-year-old Stoneleigh-based hotshot is convinced his enhanced driver’s ‘toolkit’ will stand him in good stead for the challenges that await.
“Although I’ve been part of the MSA Academy for a couple of years, I’m new to Team UK, so this is the first event I’ve done,” he revealed. “It was fantastic – a lot of fun – and all about discovering myself and relating that to my racing.
“It was designed to put us in high-pressure situations, with a brief to follow and time constraints to meet. There were a lot of team-building exercises, which made it an excellent bonding opportunity and taught us how to work well within a small group across a variety of different assignments. I’m definitely the adventurous type, so I loved the outdoor activities, but it was really interesting to be shown the theory behind it all, too.
“It was good to get to know some of the other drivers a bit better as well, because you don’t really tend to hang out with them that much away from the racetrack. It was fascinating to see what areas they are confident in, how they respond when they are dragged beyond their comfort zone and put in an alien environment, and what their strengths and weaknesses are outside of the car.
“I think we all learned a lot about both ourselves and each other. The activities really brought out all our different personalities and overall it was a really beneficial and enjoyable few days to kick-start what will hopefully be an exciting year.”
The British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) SuperStar, Hugo Boss brand ambassador and former McLaren Autosport Award finalist worked closely with MSA Performance Managers Andy Meyrick, Tom Onslow-Cole, Rupert Svendsen-Cook and James Wozencroft as well as MSA Director of Development, Ben Taylor and MSA Academy Manager, Greg Symes. Reid affirmed that like his Team UK counterparts, King made giant strides in pinpointing significant improvements that will translate across to his on-track efforts in 2014.
“This was by far the most advanced and in-depth event that Team UK has undertaken,” remarked the erstwhile World Rally Championship-winning co-driver, “and it marks the start of a new chapter for the national squad. Team UK has evolved into a programme that helps its members become the best they can be, not only in the car but in all aspects of their lives.
“It was incredibly satisfying to see how engaged the drivers were with the entire workshop, hanging on every word in the classroom sessions and wringing out every last ounce of drive, desire and determination in the physical activities. Not only was this a life-changing few days, but what they have taken away from it can have a fundamental impact on their racing careers.”
“Team UK’s visit to Chamonix is the clearest indication yet of the MSA’s commitment to nurturing the UK’s top young motorsport talent and doing all we can to help them maximise their potential in all areas,” concurred Taylor. “It was truly inspiring and represented a quantum leap in the development of Team UK. We are incredibly proud that the MSA is leading the way in talent development.”