— Ben Johnston (@BSJ2008) May 14, 2019
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Jordan King will attempt to qualify for his first Indianapolis 500 this weekend.
The Englishman who has primary sponsorship from Rich Energy has been busy since it was announced he would race in the 500.
It’s been a long wait since the announcement back in November so I’m really excited that my Indy 500 debut is here. As always, it’s been an incredibly busy time both on and off the track. It’s been great to get to know the RLL guys and put everything in place ahead of this month. They’re a great team of people who are incredibly passionate about what they do and I can’t wait to team up with them as the real work starts this month.
“We’ve also been busy working with new partners ahead of the 500. We’re incredibly lucky and grateful to be working with some really creative and ambitious partners with whom we have made some exciting plans with. RICH Energy are making big waves in the energy drink market and across the sport so it is great to be working with them moving forward. On a more local feel, I’ve teamed up with Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar and again we’ve got some really cool plans lined up for the Month of May.
“With regards to the on-track side of things, it is probably been as busy as I have ever experienced. Aside from all the usual’s in terms of what you would expect; sim work, seat fits and the such. It has been about keeping myself as fresh as possible through my season program that has included World Endurance Championship and Formula 2 duties on top of my IndyCar commitments.”
So what has been going on behind the scenes:
I like to think I take a properly thorough approach to my preparation in everything that I do and this has only been strengthened ahead of the 500. I’ve been in regular communications with the whole team at RLL including establishing a very strong relationship with my engineers so that we can hit the ground running this month. I’ve headed over to Indianapolis and done plenty of running in the Honda simulator to help myself dial in. Beyond that, my racing calendar has been incredibly busy with my WEC and Formula 2 duties so I feel as fresh as ever and in a really good place behind the wheel. Those that know me will know that keeping fit is more than a passion, more of an obsession of mine! So that has been no different and I feel in great shape heading into a very important and exciting month.
King has had help preparing for the month of May with the help of his manager Mark Blundell who is a former IndyCar driver.
My approach to my 500 debut will be no different to how I approach any challenge in my career. I like to take things head on and give it all that I have got. Not in a reckless way but instead by taking confidence that I have prepared in the best and fullest way possible. From there it is about trusting in your ability, the team’s ability and delivering from there. I’m under no illusions that it is a massive challenge in front of me – making your oval debut in the biggest oval event across the globe. But if you aren’t confident in your own ability, no one else is going to be! I’m lucky in that I have been around the whole Indy Car platform for over a year now. I’m not coming in as a complete newbie. I know the drill, what is expected and ultimately how you can be successful. Last year was a real learning curve and I’ll be all the better for that experience this year. There are some of the best drivers in the world up and down that grid and many of them have been hugely helpful in terms of offering me some advice. Aside from that, my manager (Mark Blundell) has plenty of experience Stateside including ovals so he has been a huge help too.”
King spoke about last year’s race saying:
Yes, I did attend last year’s 500 and it was a bittersweet week for me. Pretty much any driver who goes along to watch the event would much rather be out on track competing and that was no different for me! It was a great experience though to understand all that goes into such a huge event and the scale of it impacts the drivers accordingly. It was great to see the whole event, take it all in and get used to it which should help me take it all in my stride now that I go there as a competitor. To be honest, I can’t remember which year was my first one watching. I vividly remember the 100th running though, watching from start to finish and being glued to the whole scale of the event and the incredible skill required from a driving point of view.”
King is under no illusions about the 500 saying:
“As I’ve said, I am under no illusions as to the scale of the challenge ahead but I am confident I can make a real impact. I’ve always set high standards for myself and I will be satisfied so long as I meet them. There are so many factors in an event like the 500 that impact the result that I’m only really focusing on all the elements that I can control. If I deliver to a high level on all those factors that I can control then I will be well placed to leave the weekend feeling happy with all that I have achieved regardless of the result. I want to make sure I deliver on the process, if I do that, the result will come naturally.”