King aiming for full-time IndyCar ride in 2019

Jordan King, who will be racing Ed Carpenter Racing’s #20 entry on road and street courses this year, hopes this season is a prelude to a fulltime ride in 2019.

King aiming for full-time IndyCar ride in 2019
Spencer Pigot, Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet
Jordan King, MP Motorsport
Jordan King, MP Motorsport
Spencer Pigot, Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet
Jordan King, MP Motorsport
Jordan King, MP Motorsport
Ed Carpenter, Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet
Spencer Pigot, Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet
Ed Carpenter, Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet
Ed Carpenter, Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet
Jordan King, MP Motorsport
Ed Carpenter, Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet

The Formula 2 race-winner will have his first test for ECR-Chevrolet at Sonoma tomorrow, but intends to test on an oval before the season is out, as he aims for a permanent seat in 2019.

“The goal for me this year is to learn as much as I can and prepare myself to the best of my ability to try and get a fulltime seat in IndyCar for 2019,” he told Motorsport.com. “On a day to day, race weekend to race weekend basis, getting good results and making progress is the priority.

“I’ve got to prove myself for the following year, because I aim to stay out here now. I’m in the process of getting myself a home in Indy.”

King said that he was committing to the US open-wheel scene because it “ticked a lot of boxes.”

He said: “I had lots of options in Europe but I started looking at IndyCar towards the end of 2016 and first met Ed back then. We never quite got the ball rolling then, but I came back to look at IndyCar midway through last year, and I restarted conversations.

“This is the best option for going forward in my career. It ticks a lot of boxes – right deal, right time – and I’m in the fortunate position where I can lean on Ed for his experience. Back in Europe, there wasn’t an opportunity that stood out quite like this one did, and it’s a very difficult market back there, being controlled by a certain few people.”

King was coy on when he plans to turn his first miles on an oval.

“I’m intending to do an oval test this year – that’s all I can say about it at the moment,” he said, “but it’s all been planned and it’s in place to try and make my stock more valuable.”

Asked if there was a possibility of racing a third Ed Carpenter car at Indy, he replied, “Well, if the opportunity came, I’m not going to say no, but it’s not in the plan.”

Off-track preparation

Ahead of Monday’s test around the 2.385-mile Sonoma Raceway, King said he had been going over onboard camera footage from the unfamiliar tracks and had spent time in a simulator.

“I’ve watched 80 percent of the tracks already, and done three or four tracks on the simulator,” he said. “I like to think that learning new circuits is not something I struggle with, I can get it done quite quickly. But that said, in IndyCar, there’s a lot of street circuits, and they are very specialist.

“That will be a whole new challenge and won’t be quite as easy as learning road courses. There’s bumps in brake zones, where you have to learn it for real and a simulator can’t really teach you that. So I’m spending as much time as I can trying to negate at least half these problems

“I’m spending a lot of time in the race shop with the engineers and the mechanics, so I’m fully up to speed with that aspect. I’m sure it can’t be too much different from other cars that I’ve driven and hopefully I can work it out pretty quickly.

“I think there’s a lot of comparisons to be made to Formula 2 power-wise, weight-wise, and in both championships you have different tire compounds. With regards to the tires themselves, the Pirelli is notorious for its challenges and the Firestone is more robust. But I’ve heard that throws up its own challenges, too, so there will be a learning curve to work out how to optimize their performance.”

Content with preseason track time

King did not sound perturbed that he was not getting his first taste of IndyCars until February.

“Obviously the big thing is to actually get in the car because that will answer more questions than asking engineers and watching videos,” he said. “But I’m still getting three or four days before the season starts, so I’d like to think I’ll have enough time to get up to speed with the car.”

King said he can see both sides of the debate regarding whether the new-for-2018 aerokit would work in the favor of rookies.

“It opens up the playing field a little more,” he said, “and the newer guys don’t have anything to relearn. But at the same time, the experienced guys still have fewer things to get used to and the more experience you have, it makes it easier to learn something. So you can argue both sides.

“But for the moment, I’ll take the stance that a new car will make it easier for a new driver.

“I mean, it will still be difficult, because the engineers are gonna say, ‘This is what we were doing last year but we’re not sure what this new car will do.’ But that aspect is the same for everybody, so hopefully it won’t have too much of an effect.”

shares
comments
IndyCar confirms Dixon to test aeroscreen at Phoenix

Previous article

IndyCar confirms Dixon to test aeroscreen at Phoenix

Next article

IndyCar windshield could be introduced by end of 2018

IndyCar windshield could be introduced by end of 2018
Load comments
Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing win Prime

Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing win

Saturday, Oct. 16th, marks the 10th anniversary Dan Wheldon’s death. David Malsher-Lopez pays tribute, then asks Wheldon’s race engineer from 2011, Todd Malloy, to recall that magical second victory at the Indianapolis 500.

IndyCar
Oct 16, 2021
Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up? Prime

Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up?

Jack Harvey’s move to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing sparked plenty of debate, but their combined strength could prove golden, says David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Oct 15, 2021
Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting Prime

Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting

Kyle Kirkwood, the record-setting junior formula driver, sealed the Indy Lights championship last weekend. But despite an absurdly strong résumé and scholarship money, his next move is far from clear. By David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Oct 6, 2021
2021 IndyCar title is just the start for Ganassi's newest star Prime

2021 IndyCar title is just the start for Ganassi's newest star

Alex Palou has captured Chip Ganassi Racing's 14th IndyCar drivers' championship, and in truly stellar manner. David Malsher-Lopez explains what made the Palou-Ganassi combo so potent so soon.

IndyCar
Sep 28, 2021
Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar Prime

Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar

One of motorsport’s worst-kept secrets now out in the open, and Romain Grosjean has been confirmed as an Andretti Autosport IndyCar driver in 2022. It marks a remarkable turnaround after the abrupt end to his Formula 1 career, and is a firm indication of his commitment to challenge for the IndyCar Series title  

IndyCar
Sep 24, 2021
IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch Prime

IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch

The 2021 IndyCar silly season is one of the silliest of all, but it’s satisfying to see so many talented drivers in play – including Callum Ilott. David Malsher-Lopez reports.

IndyCar
Sep 11, 2021
IndyCar young guns are great, but the elders aren’t done yet Prime

IndyCar young guns are great, but the elders aren’t done yet

The ace 20-somethings in IndyCar have risen to become title contenders, but the best of the series veterans are digging deep and responding – and will continue to do so over the next couple of years, says David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Aug 20, 2021
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Prime

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021