Friday 27 September 2013
The 2013 Cooper Tires British Formula 3 Series drew to a close at the Nürburgring this weekend and it was Carlin’s Jordan King who sealed the title victory and Carlin’s sixth successive British F3 title.
King arrived at the German circuit with a three-point lead over Fortec Motorsports’ William Buller, who had led the series right up until the penultimate round of the season when a bout of bad luck and misjudgements saw him surrender a convincing lead to F3 rookie, King.
Nineteen-year-old King appeared unfazed by the task ahead of him as the young Briton knew exactly what he had to do, topping the timesheets in Friday’s free practice sessions before securing double-pole in qualifying, just ahead of Buller.
As the cars lined up on the grid for race one, disaster struck for Buller; his Mercedes-powered Dallara F312 backfired, causing the air filter to catch fire and his machine was removed from the grid and returned to the pitlane for his Fortec team to hastily set about repairing the vehicle.
Buller’s misfortune was a gift for championship leader King, who cruised to a lights-to-flag victory over another of his title rivals, Antonio Giovinazzi.
Race two proved challenging for both King and Buller, who started from eighth and 13th respectively. It was Buller who would progress through the pack; the Northern Irishman had no choice but to go on the offensive and King barely resisted his challenge as Buller moved up into fourth place, with his eyes set on a podium finish.
He proved too eager, though, and in his haste, Buller overcooked it, crashing off at the final corner on lap 13, handing the 2013 title to Jordan King, who went on to finish fifth.
Buller’s non-finish not only saw him wave goodbye to any hopes of title glory, it also allowed Giovinazzi to leapfrog Buller in the standings, as the Italian moved up into second place.
King and Buller lined up alongside each other again for the final race of the British F3 season and both were keen to show their class in front of the German crowds.
King was faultless as he took another lights-to-flag victory, while Buller drove impeccably to keep the 2013 champion in his sights throughout the 30-minute race. Try as he might, Buller was unable to snatch the fastest lap away from King to take that all-important extra point which would have seen him finish as Vice-Champion, an honour that would go to Giovinazzi.
Following a perfect final race, an elated Jordan King commented, “My race couldn’t have been much better. My start was pretty much perfect and I didn’t lock a wheel. I was really consistent on lap times and it wasn’t until the last three laps that I started to lose grip, so the car was pretty much perfect. It was the best I’ve driven all year and a brilliant race.”
On securing the British F3 title in race two, King said, “When you’re in karting, you look at British F3 and see the likes of (Jaime) Alguersuari and (Jean-Eric) Vergne and it seems unimaginable to be there in that position, but I did it and I’m chuffed for the team as it is the sixth in a row and the ninth of all time.”
The Cooper Tires British Formula 3 Series remains one of the foremost series in the motorsport ladder to Formula 1. In sealing the 2013 British F3 title, King joins a host of greats, including Jim Clark, Ayrton Senna, Mika Hakkinen and, more recently, the likes of Daniel Ricciardo, Jaime Alguersuari and Jean-Eric Vergne have all tasted championship glory.