One of the final two seats for the upcoming season in the Verizon IndyCar Series was filled today. Ed Carpenter Racing has officially signed British driver Jordan King to drive the No. 20 car on the non-ovals for 2018. It will be interesting to see how the 23-year old adjusts to the cars, the tracks, and the competition.
After three seasons in GP2/F2 racing, King makes the transition to IndyCar. He fills a familiar role held by other European drivers Luca Filippi, and ECR race winner Mike Conway. King has the 2013 British Formula 3 championship and Manor F1 team experience to build on. The signing leaves just one open seat available for the upcoming season. That is the full-time ride of the No. 19 Honda with Dale Coyne Racing. The full release from today is below.
[Ed Carpenter Racing Press Release]
Ed Carpenter Racing completed the lineup of the team’s No. 20 Chevrolet today with the addition of British driver Jordan King. The native of Warwickshire, England will compete in the 11 road and street course events for Ed Carpenter Racing in the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet. The only owner/driver in the Verizon IndyCar Series, Ed Carpenter, will continue to pilot the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet at all oval races.
King’s transition to Indy car racing is the next step in a young career which has seen him ascend the European motorsport ranks. The Verizon IndyCar Series competes primarily in the United States, with only one international event over the course of a 17 race season. Though the 23-year-old has not yet competed in a US-based racing series, he joins the Indy car field with numerous accolades, including the FIA Institute’s 2015 Driver of the Year and the 2013 British Formula 3 championship.
“I am beyond excited to get started in the Verizon IndyCar Series,” stated King. “After winning at Silverstone in 2016 and being able to drive in F1 practice, 2017 was not what I was hoping for. Going into the new season, I’m really looking forward to having the opportunity with ECR to work towards our collective goals. I believe that together, both of us have the capability to do well!”
After beginning in karts in 2005, King progressed to single-seaters in 2010. After two years in Formula Renault, King claimed the 2013 British Formula 3 championship in his debut season with three wins and eight podium finishes. He has spent the last three seasons honing his craft in Formula 2, previously known as GP2. While serving as a development driver for Manor F1 in 2015 and 2016, he participated in several tests and drove in practice sessions at the 2016 United States Grand Prix and Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Most recently, King competed for MP Motorsport in the 2017 FIA Formula 2 Championship, collecting Top 10 finishes in over half of the races.
“We are very excited to welcome Jordan to the ECR family and to have him in the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet for the 2018 road and street course races,” proclaimed team owner Ed Carpenter. “I first met Jordan at Sonoma Raceway in 2016 as he was exploring opportunities in IndyCar. He is a very motivated, intelligent and hungry driver, which is exactly what we are looking for at ECR. Jordan has had a lot of success and experience in Europe and I can’t wait to see what he is capable of with ECR in the Verizon IndyCar Series.”
Since 2014, the No. 20 has been split between Carpenter on the ovals a second driver at the remaining events. Spencer Pigot became the first driver to retain the No. 20’s road and street course seat for a second season when he drove the car in both 2016 and 2017. The 24-year-old from Orlando, Fla. was promoted to the full-time driver of ECR’s No. 21 entry for the 2018 season, providing King with the opportunity to become the road and street course driver for the No. 20. Indianapolis native Carpenter, 36, will remain the oval driver of the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet in his 16th year of Indy car competition.
King, who will be a true Indy car rookie, is excited for the opportunity to partner with Carpenter, one of the most veteran drivers in the field. “Sharing the No. 20 seat with Ed gives me a great opportunity to learn from him and the team, while racing at the road and street courses will let me put into practice what I have learnt,” said King.
King is represented by UK-based MB Partners. CEO Mark Blundell commented, “The focus for Jordan was to give him a platform to build from in Indy car and the opportunity with Ed and ECR is the perfect fit. Ed will be a great mentor.” Blundell continued, “Having a full road and street course program alongside some oval testing will allow Jordan to show his racecraft and ability in some of the most competitive open wheel racing in the world today.”
Though the 2017 season ended in mid-September, Ed Carpenter Racing has been involved in an extensive off-season testing program to prepare for 2018’s universal aero kit. King is currently scheduled to climb into the No. 20 on February 5 at Sonoma Raceway, ECR’s first test of the new year. The 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season will open March 11 in the Streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.