Jordan King confirmed for FP1 run with Manor at COTA

Getty Images
0 Comments

Jordan King will make his first free practice run-out this Friday at Circuit of The Americas with Manor, which was planned and will see the British GP2 Series veteran step into the MRT05 Mercedes on a race weekend for the first time.

King’s name could come up for 2017 as a potential replacement at Manor if either Esteban Ocon and/or Pascal Wehrlein moves on next year, and with vacancies at Renault and Force India to fill, it seems likely one if not both of them will be on the move.

As it is, King has tested over the offseason and in the in-season tests, so this is a natural step up for him. There’s one race weekend remaining in the GP2 season at Abu Dhabi; he’s fifth in points with two sprint race wins.

“First of all, I’d like to thank the team for making this possible,” King said. “It’s another big step in the right direction for me, after two really positive tests in the MRT05 which paved the way for this opportunity. It’s a dream come true, but at the same time I have a job to do in the car on Friday and I want to make sure I give the team plenty of quality feedback and data to help with their USGP challenge.

“There’s quite a lot to cram into 90 minutes. I’ll be exploring the balance of the car and correlating that with the team’s simulation work. There’ll be some new components to evaluate, along with the tire specifications for this event. I’ll also be learning the circuit and getting up to speed with the car, which has been developed quite a bit since I last drove it at Silverstone. I can’t wait!”

Manor Racing Director Dave Ryan added, “It will be good to give Jordan his first FP1 session. He’s done a really great job in his Development Driver role and this opportunity was a planned part of his program with us. We look forward to getting his feedback and this further opportunity to appraise his performance in the MRT05.”

Of note, King was at Sonoma last month for the Verizon IndyCar Series finale, scoping that paddock out to get a lay of the land there, so this won’t be his first trip to the U.S. this year.

Three-time W Series champ Jamie Chadwick joining Andretti in Indy NXT Series for 2023

3 Comments

Jamie Chadwick, the three-time W Series champion, will drive for Andretti Autosport in the Indy NXT Series next season.

Chadwick will make her debut in an American racing series in March, driving the No. 28 for Andretti Autosport with sponsorship from DHL. The 24-year-old will become the first female driver in 13 years to compete full time in the Indy NXT championship.

Chadwick joined the female free-to-enter W Series in its inaugural 2019 season, winning two races and the first of three consecutive championships. She has been a reserve driver for the Williams Formula One team and will continue in that role in 2023. She also has driven in the Extreme E Series.

Despite her success, Chadwick hasn’t landed a bigger ride in F3 or F2, and her break didn’t come until Michael Andretti contacted her and offered a test in an Indy NXT car.

The final three races of this year’s W Series schedule were canceled when funding fell through, but Chadwick still believes the all-female series was the right path for her.

“W Series has always been and will continue to be an opportunity to be racing for every female driver, so for my side, I looked at it while perhaps I would have liked to step up maybe earlier, at the same time being able to have that chance to race, get that experience, have that development, seat time… I was constantly learning,” Chadwick told The Associated Press.

“In that sense, I wasn’t frustrated at all. But on the flip side of it, now I’ve had that experience testing in the United States in Indy NXT and this is something I’m really excited about.”

Chadwick also is expected to have an enhanced role as a development driver next season with Williams, which chose American driver Logan Sargeant to fill its open seat on next year’s F1 grid.

“Andretti Autosport is proud to be supporting Jamie alongside DHL,” said Michael Andretti. “Jamie’s successful career speaks for itself, but Indy NXT gives Jamie the opportunity to continue her development in a new type of racing.

“We’ve turned out five Indy NXT champions over the years and look forward to continuing our role in developing new talent.”

Indy NXT is the new name of the rebranded Indy Lights Series, the final step on the ladder system before IndyCar.

Andretti will field two drivers next season in IndyCar that were developed in Indy NXT: Kyle Kirkwood, the 2021 champion, will return to Andretti after one season in IndyCar driving for A.J. Foyt Racing, and Devlin DeFrancesco is back for a second season.

Chadwick will be teammates in Indy NXT with Hunter McElrea and Louis Foster. She becomes Andretti’s second full-time female driver alongside Catie Munnings, who competes for Andretti United in the Extreme E Series.