Chennai - First corner incidents in the final two races of the MRF Challenge Formula 2000 here on Sunday brought contrasting results for Jordan King, resulting in his loss to eventual champion Conor Daly.
King, who took a decisive lead at the first corner on the opening lap of the first race, gave the title away to Daly in the second race by spinning at the same first corner of the Madras Motor Sports Club track.
The American in the end was deservingly crowned the champion of the 10-race series which started at the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida in October. Luck was on his side too as he gained the lead through others’ errors after finishing fifth in the morning.
Daly, son of former Formula 1 driver Derek Daly, won the championship with 164 points, ahead of England‘s King (159 points) and Luciano Bacheta (102 points). The 21-year-old’s victory came in his first stint at the MRF Challenge while King, 18, was more familiar with the car, having also driven in the F1600 two seasons ago.
“I had issues with the clutch early on in the final race but then it all worked out fine. I was lucky to win with Alice (Powell) and Sam (Dejonghe) spinning while leading the race,” said Daly referring to Lap 1 and 9 incidents of the 20-lap race.
Alice, starting at the front of the reverse grid, squandered her opportunity by erring at the first corner, leaving dirt on the track that led to King losing control of his car.
This resulted in King sliding down to 11th from second place and he could not catch up. The American, who finished sixth in GP3 last year, got the lead in the race when Dejonghe stalled on Lap 9 and held on to the advantage.
Fans witnessed plenty of action in the morning too with India’s Parth Ghorpade and Japanese Yudai Jinkawa crashing into each other. Jinkawa was also involved in a collision with Dejonghe.
Race 9: 1. Jordan King (UK) Total Time – 20:41:794, 2. Jon Lancaster (UK) – 20:43:054, 3. Josh Hill (UK) – 20:43:883. Fastest Lap: Jordan King (1:34:346).
Race 10: 1. Conor Daly (USA) – 31:51:117, 2. Jon Lancaster (UK) – 31:52:494, 3. Josh Hill (UK) 31:52:998. Fastest Lap: Yudai JInkawa (1:34:257).