Ed Carpenter Racing rookie Jordan King was left ruing a brake problem that he believed cost him a potential podium in Sunday’s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Long Beach.
The Brit had worked his way into the top 10 when he was forced into the pits to have his brakes bled during a yellow, the process delaying him just enough for him to rejoin behind the pace car and lose a lap.
“It’s just annoying really,” King told RACER. “What can I say? The pace was really good, especially at the end of the reds – that’s what’s makes it particularly frustrating. We were planning to do a two-stopper initially; we were actually planning on doing a three, but we were doing such a good job that a we decided to switch strategies.
“I was struggling with brakes with the problem we had, and under that last yellow… I’m not going to say what happened, but what was happening did happen under that last yellow. So it was gradually getting there… and then it got there. That’s when I said to the guys ‘we’ve got to do something.’ But we just didn’t get out in time to beat the pace car around, otherwise it still would have been game on in that sense. It would have easily been a top five, and challenging for the podium. We were in front of Ed Jones for the whole race, and he was third. So it’s annoying, but it’s all ifs and buts.”
It’s the second time that King has had an encouraging result ruined by a problem, following a puncture that derailed his afternoon in St. Petersburg. Given his inexperience in IndyCar, King said that his disappointment with the Long Beach result was compounded by the knowledge that he can’t yet count on being competitive every weekend, meaning that he can’t afford to not make the most of the good days when he has them.
“This is only my ninth or 10th day in the car, so we’re still learning a lot,” he said. “But it was the same at St Pete – we were really strong and got a puncture. So it’s kind of been bittersweet at the moment. The thing that I find annoying is that I’m sure not every weekend is going to be like St. Pete or here, because every circuit is new for me and for the guys with the new car, so every circuit is going to be a challenge. Some places will be trickier than others to get up to speed, so it kind of hurts that we didn’t capitalize when we were up to speed.”