IndyCar: Jordan King to make Indy 500 debut with RLL
By Marshall Pruett | RACER magazine and RACER.com IndyCar correspondent
Former Ed Carpenter Racing driver Jordan King will make his Indy 500 debut next May with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing as teammate to Graham Rahal and 2017 Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato.
The Briton, who contested road and street courses for ECR, also tested on an oval with the team in preparation for becoming a full-time IndyCar driver in 2019. A lack of funding has limited King’s plans so far, but he was able to land one of the most competitive Indy-only drives in the series with RLL.
“The Indy 500 is the jewel in the crown, it was a great event when I saw it this year, on a worldwide stage it’s a top sporting event, so it’s going to be pretty special to be a part of it that you’ll remember for the rest of your life,” King told RACER.
“I’ve made it no secret I want to be full-time, and speaking with RLL, they were in a position to help me get in the get and it was a very mutual effort working towards a common goal. It’s a quick car, [Oriol] Servia nearly won in it, they’re previous Indy 500 winners, and Bobby [Rahal] already told me he feels we can shorten my Speedway learning curve. I’m confident they can integrate me into their team and the oval world to be successful in the race.”
The Team RLL Hondas of Takuma Sato and Graham Rahal at this year’s Indy 500. (Image by Michael Levitt/LAT)
“Jordan certainly impressed me last year with his pace at a number of races,” said team co-owner Bobby Rahal. “Of course those were all road and street courses but he quickly came to grips with the Dallara and it was apparent that he has the potential to do well. While this will be his first oval race, I think that given the amount of track time, he will get up to speed and come to grips with the challenges of oval racing just as quickly. Of course it always helps to have two strong teammates and a strong team behind you to shorten the learning curve and we feel we provide that. We look forward to welcoming him to the team.”
King says he’s determined to add more IndyCar races to his schedule, and RLL appears to be open to the idea.
“We’re trying to get a full-time drive, which hasn’t worked out, so this Indy 500 plan is the next-best thing,” he added. “I can’t give any dates or events yet, but I’m working as hard as I can, running up and down the country, to try and find some backing to get myself on the grid for more races. We might get a couple of extra races — it could be 10, it could be one — and with the relationship we have with RLL, there’s a common goal to achieve that.”
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