Jordan King - Most PodiumBritish racer Jordan King took MP Motorsport back onto the podium during the latest round of the Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup at Most in the Czech Republic on Sunday, 28th August, while Estonia’s Karl-Oscar Liiv came tantalisingly close to doubling up for the Dutch team.

Without doubt the best weekend of 2011 so far for the front-running Formula Renault squad, King and Liiv proved to be a match for the championship leading Red Bull Junior drivers throughout while team-mate Alexey Chuklin continued his impressive rise up the ranks.

Just a few days removed from the most recent round of Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit the weekend prior, MP Motorsport travelled directly to the Czech Republic for the most easterly situated race meeting of the NEC campaign.

Rapid from the off during practice, where King was fastest of all across the four sessions, along with Liiv the pair confirmed the team’s superb pace in qualifying on Saturday, 27th August, with the fifth and fourth fastest times respectively. During qualifying for the second of the weekend’s three races, King starred by sealing a front-row start while Liiv was ninth quickest.

During the opening encounter, Liiv raced impressively and came within just 0.5 seconds of climbing the podium as he pressured Stoffel Vandoorne all the way to the chequered flag. Chuklin fought his way through strongly from 21st on the grid into 14th position but for King the chance of a podium went begging when contact with Alessio Picariello while contesting third place resulted in an excursion – he finished a lap down.

Sunday’s racing began with a deserved celebration as King lapped consistently on the pace of Carlos Sainz Jnr and Daniil Kvyat on his way to a fantastic third place finish. At the end of the 17-lapper he was a mere 0.8 seconds shy of Kvyat and only 1.5 seconds adrift of winner Sainz Jnr. King’s fastest lap of the race, incidentally, was 1m32.794 seconds – just 0.2 seconds shy of the best of the race.

Liiv was again in terrific form too and carved his way past several cars to rise from ninth on the grid into fifth position at the finish. Like King, the Estonian’s pace was impressive and his quickest lap was less than 0.2 seconds outside his team-mate’s best. Once again, Russian racer Chuklin delivered a strong drive to end up in 16th place from the 10th row of the grid.

The third and final race at Autodrom Most could have produced the second podium of the event for MP Motorsport but Liiv had to settle for fourth, just under two seconds shy of the rostrum. Chuklin drove superbly to take 12th position right on the tail of Picariello and Rafael Danieli but King had to face more misfortune when a questionable drive-through penalty was handed out.

Forced to start at the back of the grid, due to his finishing position from the opener, the youngster made a fantastic getaway and rapidly climbed into the mid-order. Unfortunately for King, he was then forced to serve a penalty following a pass on Richard Gonda but the decision was certainly erroneous and meant he was only then able to recover into 16th place.

“Overall, we really are very happy with the way this weekend has gone”, said MP Motorsport team principal Sander Dorsman, “It’s been our best race meeting of the season by far, Jordan and Karl-Oscar were on the pace all weekend and really took the fight to the Red Bull guys. Alexey keeps on impressing us with his progress and the visit to Most saw another improvement. All in all, a fantastic event.”

MP Motorsport continues its hectic schedule this weekend, 3rd/4th September, by participating in the Auto GP Championship event in Valencia, Spain, with Dutch driver Daniël De Jong. From there, the team will prepare for the penultimate rounds of the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 Championship which will be held at Paul Ricard in the south of France on 17th/18th September.

Photo by Chris Schotanus/Essay Produkties.