King weathers late storm to take home GP2 victory at Silverstone

© GP2 Series

Jordan King converted reverse grid pole into his second GP2 Series victory on Sunday at Silverstone, weathering a late rain shower to fend off the charging Luca Ghiotto.

King finished eighth in Saturday’s feature race to pick up four points and pole for Sunday’s sprint race, and managed to retain his advantage off the line.

The Racing Engineering driver came under pressure from Nobuharu Matsushita early on, but managed to pull away as his rival fell into the clutches of Oliver Rowland and Ghiotto behind.

Both overhauled Matsushita before Ghiotto passed Rowland for second place and duly set his sights on King at the front, drawing to within half a second of the Briton.

However, Ghiotto’s tires dropped off in King’s dirty air, allowing the leader to pull away once again before a late shower threatened to rain on his parade.

After tip-toeing around the final lap, King crossed the line to score his second GP2 victory – the first having come just a week earlier in Austria – ahead of Ghiotto and Rowland.

“It’s obviously not the Formula 1 win, which is the childhood dream, but the closest thing to it,” King said, reflecting on his home victory.

“It really feels likes I’ve achieved a little kid’s dream today!”

Rowland’s third-place finish was enough to move him into the lead of the drivers’ championship, with one race win separating the top eight ahead of the next race in Hungary on July 23.

IndyCar disappointed by delay of video game but aiming to launch at start of 2024

IndyCar video game 2024

An IndyCar executive said there is “absolutely” disappointment that its long-awaited video game recently was delayed beyond its target date, but the series remains optimistic about the new title.

“Well, I don’t know how quick it will be, but the whole situation is important to us,” Penske Entertainment president and CEO Mark Miles said during a news conference Monday morning to announce IndyCar’s NTT title sponsorship. “Motorsport Games has spent a lot of money, a lot of effort to create an IndyCar title. What we’ve seen of that effort, which is not completely obvious, is very reassuring.

“I think it’s going to be outstanding. That’s our shared objective, that when it is released, it’s just widely accepted. A great credit both to IndyCar racing, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, something that our fans love.”

In June 2021, IndyCar announced a new partnership with Motorsport Games to create and distribute an IndyCar video game for the PC and Xbox and PlayStation consoles in 2023.

But during an earnings call last week, Motorsport Games said the IndyCar game had been delayed to 2024 to ensure high quality.

Somewhat compounding the delay is that IndyCar’s license for iRacing expired after the end of the 2022 season because of its exclusive agreement with Motorsport Games.

That’s resulted in significant changes for IndyCar on iRacing, which had provided a high-profile way for the series to stay visible during its 2020 shutdown from the pandemic. (Players still can race an unbranded car but don’t race on current IndyCar tracks, nor can they stream).

That’s helped ratchet up the attention on having a video game outlet for IndyCar.

“I wish we had an IndyCar title 10 years ago,” said Miles, who has been working with the organization since 2013. “We’ve been close, but we’ve had these I think speed bumps.”

IndyCar is hopeful the Motorsports Game edition will be ready at the start of 2024. Miles hinted that beta versions could be unveiled to reporters ahead of the time “to begin to show the progress in a narrow way to make sure we’ve got it right, to test the progress so that we’re ready when they’re ready.”

It’s been nearly 18 years since the release of the most recent IndyCar video game for console or PC.

“(We) better get it right,” Miles said. “It’s something we’re very close to and continue to think about what it is to make sure we get it over the line in due course.”