Explosive start helps King maintain consistent form

Jordan King in action at the Honda Indy 200. Picture: IndyCar
Jordan King in action at the Honda Indy 200. Picture: IndyCar

Jordan King climbed eight places in two laps to match his best road course result of the season, finishing the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio in 12th place to collect more championship points.

After a 12th and 11th in the past two rounds of the series, King’s recent run of good form extended to the 13th round of the season at the 2.258-mile Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Drawn into group two for the first round of qualifying, the Harbury driver only managed to record one timed lap before the red flag was brought out when Sebastien Bourdais ran off the course at turn two.

He was then left with less than four minutes to build a healthy gap and set a flying lap on a set of quicker sticker red tyres.

He continued his upward trend as he recorded a 1:05.7699 lap time to finish eight in the group, missing out on progressing through to round two by only two-tenths.

This translated to a 16th-placed start for Sunday’s race and when action got under way at Mid-Ohio, he got off to a blistering start, passing five cars in the opening three corners to move up to 11th place.

The 24-year-old continued to showcase his overtaking prowess by gaining two more positions on the next lap and when Max Chilton had to serve a drive-through penalty, King slotted into eighth place.

He then made his first stop of the race on lap 15, sticking with quicker red tyres but a slight miscue with one of the tyres had the No 20 back up on the air jack a second time.

His slow stop meant he lost out on two positions and returned to the race in tenth.

Despite being on the quicker of the two tyres, King struggled with grip during his second stint but managed to pick up a position when Rene Binder made a pit stop.

A second stop on lap 40 saw him re-emerge on the slower black tyres and he was unable to hold off Zach Veach and Marco Andretti, dropping down to 12th.

King’s third and final stop came on Lap 64 when he opted for a set of sticker reds.

He continued to close the gap to the cars in front but was unable to improve on his position, eventually crossing the finish line in 12th.

“I sent it on the first couple of corners,” said an upbeat King.

“That was really good fun, a bit of wheel-banging and running side-by-side with a few people.

“We got up to ninth in those first two laps.

“Our pace was pretty good during the race, I don’t think we were a million miles off at all.

“We had a bit of a slow first pit stop and lost a few places there, then we just seemed to struggle a bit on out laps.

“Those are the two areas where we lost the time; otherwise, I think we would have been a bit higher up.

“We still have a bit of work that we need to do but overall it was a good race.”