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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

King eyes shock BTCC swap after Ford take a look at

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The 27-year-old, who made two Method 1 FP1 appearances with Manor in 2016, examined a Motorbase Efficiency Ford Focus at Snetterton final week.

King is one driver within the body for the crew, which is known to probably be parting methods with Mark Blundell’s MB Motorsport operation, beneath which identify it operated two vehicles for Jake Hill and Ollie Jackson this season.

The take a look at was organised by driver supervisor Will Fewkes; though King isn’t one in every of his purchasers, they’ve a friendship courting again a number of years.

“I used to be given a chance to check it so I wasn’t going to say no,” King instructed Autosport.

“In reality I’m taking a look at something for subsequent yr – I’m not saying I am taking a look at it [BTCC], I’m not saying I’m not taking a look at it.

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“It’s a cool championship, good racing, and if I could make it a pure skilled drive then I’ll look into it, however it very a lot comes right down to that.”

Jordan King, Motorbase Efficiency Ford Focus

Photograph by: JEP / Motorsport Images

King, who has not raced since he contested the December 2019 Bahrain spherical of the World Endurance Championship in an LMP1 Ginetta, loved the expertise of the Focus.

“It was a kind of Snetterton days the place the rain by no means lifted – it was simply misty and moist within the air,” he stated.

“The circuit by no means dried up, there was at all times a little bit of spray, and within the afternoon when the temperature dropped it actually plummeted in grip.

“However I genuinely actually loved myself – I used to be pleasantly shocked.

“Coming from my background, everyone within the crew was downplaying it as a result of it does take plenty of getting used to.

“It was my first time ever driving a front-wheel-drive automobile, and my first time with a stickshift in eight years or one thing, so it was a little bit of a studying curve to begin with, however we have been fairly fast and made some good progress.”

Motorbase boss Pete Osborne made it clear that King is likely one of the drivers on his goal checklist for 2022.

“He’s simply such knowledgeable at all the pieces he does,” Osborne instructed Autosport.

“To have the ability to deliver somebody like that to the BTCC could be an absolute dream for us – he not solely would assist the crew, however the best way he handles himself, he’s a pure skilled.

“Our guys totally loved working with him, and I’d like to entice Jordan to get a full-time BTCC drive.”

Relating to King’s want to be knowledgeable, Osborne stated: “We’re a special crew to rather a lot on the grid – it’s my interest and what I get pleasure from.

“It’s not a live-or-die state of affairs as a revenue stream, however the concept is for it to be financially secure.”

However he did add: “We’ve acquired a large accomplice becoming a member of us for subsequent yr – I’ve by no means been so excited.”

Jordan King, Motorbase Performance Ford Focus

Jordan King, Motorbase Efficiency Ford Focus

Photograph by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Osborne’s son Sam is prone to keep on within the line-up for 2022, whereas Jackson can also be strongly tipped to stay and Tom Chilton has been linked with a return to the squad after confirming that he’ll depart the Ciceley Motorsport BMW crew.

With Andy Neate retiring and Hill’s future the topic of hypothesis, that leaves another place out there.

Hill, fifth within the 2021 BTCC standings, has this month been taken onto Blundell’s MB Companions administration secure, and couldn’t touch upon rumours linking him with different main groups within the collection.

“A lot of issues are occurring – I’ve at all times needed to be in the very best automobile I presumably can,” stated Hill.

“I actually did get pleasure from this yr with Motorbase rather a lot, and it’s set me up hopefully for an additional good yr in 2022.”

Relating to his new administration from Blundell, he added: “It’s been essentially the most up-and-down journey I might ever think about with my dad [ex-racer Simon Hill], and little did we expect we might obtain 5 seasons of BTCC.

“It’s time actually to make the subsequent step commercially, and I can’t do that perpetually with out incomes a wage out of it. Being beneath the administration of Mark and his crew, it turns into a bit extra secure.”

Motorbase additionally examined 4 drivers on behalf of BTCC tyre provider Goodyear as a reward for his or her successes in lower-level tin-top collection.

Lewis Kent and Dan Zelos, respectively the TCR UK and Mini Problem champions, 2020 Focus Cup title winner Andy Godfrey and 2021 Fiesta Championship runner-up Luke Pinder (with champion Rob Smith unable to attend) all had a flip on the wheel of a Focus.

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