INDIANAPOLIS – Starting in 2014, Ed Carpenter stepped out of a full-time Verizon IndyCar Series ride and raced on his strength – ovals. It’s a hard decision for a driver to do, as it’s never easy for a race car driver to watch someone else driving their car. But, when that said driver is also the owner of the team, he had to do what was best for his business.
See, Carpenter knew that road/street courses weren’t a strength of his. His background was in USAC and racing on ovals. So, in order to grow his brand, it was best he stepped out of the ride on those tracks, after all, over 60-percent of the annual races are on road/street courses.
It immediately worked too.
In 2014, Ed Carpenter Racing hired Mike Conway to drive all the races away from ovals. Carpenter, drove the No. 20 Chevrolet in just ovals. It was a perfect match. Carpenter won at Texas that season and Conway reached victory lane twice in his 12 appearances. Combined, they had three wins, five top five finishes and six top 10’s.
In 2012 and 2013, Carpenter has just one win, four top fives and eight top 10’s in 34 combined races. He and Conway combining to run a full season had better results in one year than Carpenter had by himself in the previous two.
In 2015, Filippi teamed up with Carpenter with the duo having just one combined top five and six top 10’s.
In 2016 and 2017, it was Spencer Pigot’s turn. Pigot, did such a good job despite neither side winning a race, that he was retained on a full-time basisi for the No. 21 Chevrolet in 2018. Now, it’s Jordan King’s turn.
Ed Carpenter Racing completed the lineup of the team’s No. 20 Chevrolet Thursday with the addition of British driver Jordan King. The native of Warwickshire, England will compete in the 11 road and street course events for Ed Carpenter Racing in the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet. The only owner/driver in the Verizon IndyCar Series, Ed Carpenter, will continue to pilot the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet at all oval races.
King’s transition to Indy car racing is the next step in a young career which has seen him ascend the European motorsport ranks. The Verizon IndyCar Series competes primarily in the United States, with only one international event over the course of a 17 race season. Though the 23-year-old has not yet competed in a US-based racing series, he joins the Indy car field with numerous accolades, including the FIA Institute’s 2015 Driver of the Year and the 2013 British Formula 3 championship.
“I am beyond excited to get started in the Verizon IndyCar Series,” stated King. “After winning at Silverstone in 2016 and being able to drive in F1 practice, 2017 was not what I was hoping for. Going into the new season, I’m really looking forward to having the opportunity with ECR to work towards our collective goals. I believe that together, both of us have the capability to do well!”
After beginning in karts in 2005, King progressed to single-seaters in 2010. After two years in Formula Renault, King claimed the 2013 British Formula 3 championship in his debut season with three wins and eight podium finishes. He has spent the last three seasons honing his craft in Formula 2, previously known as GP2. While serving as a development driver for Manor F1 in 2015 and 2016, he participated in several tests and drove in practice sessions at the 2016 United States Grand Prix and Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Most recently, King competed for MP Motorsport in the 2017 FIA Formula 2 Championship, collecting Top 10 finishes in over half of the races.
“We are very excited to welcome Jordan to the ECR family and to have him in the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet for the 2018 road and street course races,” proclaimed team owner Ed Carpenter. “I first met Jordan at Sonoma Raceway in 2016 as he was exploring opportunities in INDYCAR. He is a very motivated, intelligent and hungry driver, which is exactly what we are looking for at ECR. Jordan has had a lot of success and experience in Europe and I can’t wait to see what he is capable of with ECR in the Verizon IndyCar Series.”
King, who will be a true Indy car rookie, is excited for the opportunity to partner with Carpenter, one of the most veteran drivers in the field. “Sharing the No. 20 seat with Ed gives me a great opportunity to learn from him and the team, while racing at the road and street courses will let me put into practice what I have learnt,” said King.
King is represented by UK-based MB Partners. CEO Mark Blundell commented, “The focus for Jordan was to give him a platform to build from in Indy car and the opportunity with Ed and ECR is the perfect fit. Ed will be a great mentor.” Blundell continued, “Having a full road and street course program alongside some oval testing will allow Jordan to show his racecraft and ability in some of the most competitive open wheel racing in the world today.”