Racing Engineering driver Jordan King completed his maiden season in the GP2 Series with a sixth-place finish at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina circuit.
After scoring eight championship points in Saturday’s 31-lap feature race, the 21-year-old from Harbury was all set to improve on that in Sunday’s 22-lap sprint ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix before a multiple-car shunt behind him on the opening lap caused the race to be stopped and not restarted.
King was running in third at the time and looking good for a second podium finish of his rookie year in the F1-feeder formula.
“It was a bit of a nightmare,” said King. “The speed was there for a podium finish, so it’s a shame. The main thing, though, was that nobody was injured in the big pile-up behind.
“The weekend started pretty well,” King continued. “Practice was good – I was seventh-fastest and the car felt good. I was a little bit disappointed to only be eighth on the grid, as the pace was there for a top-five starting slot.”
Undeterred for the first race of the 2015 series’ final weekend, King admitted he then made things more difficult for himself than was needed.
“I flatspotted both my front tyres quite early on,” he admitted.
“So that made the balance of the car go awry. I think we did a good job to come home sixth, though, which of course meant third on the grid for the reversed race-two line-up.
“The race was encouraging for a lot of reasons, but it was such a shame that I wasn’t able to build on it the following day.”
A good start from the second row meant King was battling for second place through the first few corners, just as the nasty shunt behind was unfolding.
With damage to the barriers and the circuit littered with debris, a decision was taken to cancel the event.
It meant King was unable to improve on his joint-tenth place in the drivers’ championship.
“Things were looking good,” he added. “It was still a good way to end the season and I head into the winter pretty pleased with how the finale played out, speed-wise.”
n Leamington racer Jake Rubio finished an impressive seventh out of 36 in the Honda Cadet Championship at Shenington Kart Club despite missing three months due to a broken elbow.
Up until his accident Rubio was sitting in second place and looking good to improve on his fourth-placed finish in 2014.
Rubio, who is soon to turn 13, moves up into the junior ranks next season and his preparations have already seen him test drive the new Junior X30 Gold kart.
He said: “The X30 kart is awesome and is so much faster than my cadet kart, even though my cadet kart went in access of 60mph.
“2016 is going to be an exciting year for me and I’m looking forward to facing the new challenges it brings, head on.”