Harbury racer Jordan King claimed a strong runners-up spot in the opening race of the GP2 Series in Belgium.
The 22-year-old qualified fifth for Racing Engineering on his return to the majestic Spa-Francorchamps rollercoaster in the Ardennes and, with a perfectly executed strategy in the 25-lap pitstop race on Saturday, he collected 18 points to move up to sixth in the drivers’ championship.
“It was a really positive result and great for my championship momentum,” admitted the Manor F1 development driver.
“It was the first time this year that the team and I got everything right.
“I made a great start, moving up to P4 early on and challenging for P3.
“We made the call to pit early as I started on the Option [softer, faster, less durable] tyres.
“It was a perfect stop and switch to the Prime [harder, slower but more durable] tyres and I got my head down.
“In fact my out lap and first timed lap were really quick; so much so that I jumped race leader [Pierre] Gasly.”
King did not quite have the pace to keep the Frenchman behind him, but hung on to take a superb second place and snare those crucial 18 points.
With the top-eight finishers from the Feature race reversed for Sunday morning’s 18-lap Sprint race, King found himself seventh on the grid.
“The Sprint race was all about scoring as many points as possible,” he said. “I finished where I started, in seventh, to make it a 20-point weekend, which is the sort of tally I need to advance up the leaderboard.”
Unfortunately, King was one of seven drivers to have a ten-second time penalty added to their final race time following their use of the drag-reduction system too early in the race, dropping him out of the points to 12th place.
It was a system error,” said King. “Seven drivers got a green light on the dash so went for it.”