A championship, a podium and a 16-year-old kiwi... At age 16, most kids are only just gaining their learners permit to enable them to take those first few exciting drives behind the wheel of a car on public roads. Nic Jordan, a 16-year-old ...
A championship, a podium and a 16-year-old kiwi...
At age 16, most kids are only just gaining their learners permit to enable them to take those first few exciting drives behind the wheel of a car on public roads.
Nic Jordan, a 16-year-old schoolboy from Te Awamutu on New Zealand's North Island, has achieved significantly more than that, by winning the Australian Formula 3 Trophy Class Championship at Mallala Raceway in South Australia last weekend.
In what was described by the team as an 'unreal' performance, Jordan had his best race meeting to date, breaking every record imaginable for Trophy Class competition and running right with the outright championship frontrunners driving his team BRM, SsangYong Luxury Vehicles Dallara F398.
Qualifying was a good enough start -- Jordan qualifying within a second of pole for race one to line up third, the best ever result in Qualifying for a Trophy Class competitor and a personal best for the driver. The gap to pole was even closer for the second race, a scant five tenths of a second difference meant that Nic would start fifth outright for a clear shot at a strong result.
But the way Jordan works meant that he wasn't completely satisfied with his stunning performance. Despite the results, he knew there were better things to come from within himself.
"The track changed a lot today," said Jordan the second session. "I am sure that I can find better times out of the car tomorrow in the races, so I will be trying my hardest." He said.
"But I am really happy with my third place for race one. Tomorrow I want to race with the leading cars and go for a podium like I achieved at Eastern Creek and Wakefield."
Tough words, but if anyone could achieve such a feat, it would be Jordan. And achieve he did, more than anyone could have imagined as the sun rose on a perfect day for racing.
A good start, and a fast opening lap on cold tyres meant that Jordan was third at the end of the first lap of the 2.6km circuit. Jordan was passed by Chris Gilmour on lap 7, but held his pace right through towards the end of the event, closing on his team-mate Karl Reindler in the last few laps and finishing fourth overall. The ten points scored in the race gave him the championship crown there and then.
That meant that for race two the pressure was off, the championship sealed, and Jordan could do what he does so very naturally well -- drive a racecar flat out.
And that he did, involved in a five-car freight train in the battle for the lead before both of the leaders ran off the road in the Turn five hairpin, elevating Jordan to second place outright, which is where he stayed for the remainder of the race.
The result was not only Jordan's best of the year, but the best ever achieved by a Trophy class competitor in Australian Formula 3 racing, re setting the mark already held by Jordan from earlier this year.
This time, the quietly spoken driver couldn't resist being happy with his performance.
"That was an awesome race to drive in (Race two) I was really happy that I could run with Chris (Gilmour). He got away at the start, but I was able to keep up with him as the race progressed."
"I am really happy with second overall in the race two.. That's awesome!"
But the main focus of the weekend was the championship, and it isn't hard to see just how Nic took the series. Undefeated in all twelve races, pole for 10 of the 12, fastest lap in every race, 264 out of a possible 266 points scored from the rounds he has completed, the stats just go on and on.
"It is awesome to have won the championship so before the last round," Said Jordan at the end of a brilliant day for himself and the team. "When I won Oran Park earlier this year I gained a bit more confidence that I could actually do it, and by finishing all the races this year, This weekend I really only needed to finish in the points (To get the championship)." He said.
"Because of that we won it."
So now, Nic Jordan will return to his studies in New Zealand and plan his next step to take in the world of Motorsport. More then likely, it will be a return to Australia for the full Australian F3 championship in a late model car next season.
If so, the record keepers will be kept very busy by the boy who can only just legally drive on Australian Roads.
An Australian Formula 3 trophy Class champion.
Team BRM, as well as Nic's Management would like to acknowledge and thank the support given to Nic by SsangYong Luxury vehicles for the Mallala round of the series.