30 Dec George King continued his strong start to the 2021-22 Gulf Radical Cup series
George King continued his strong start to the 2021-22 Gulf Radical Cup series, claiming another clean sweep of victories in round two at the Dubai Autodrome.
The Briton, who swept the board on his series debut in November, was again on top form in the Team JWR SR3 XX, bagging two of the three pole positions and fastest laps on offer at the triple-header and, crucially for his title bid, coming out on top of each race to maintain his 100% winning record in the seven-round championship.
While his raw pace was never in doubt around Dubai’s premier race facility, King would have to overcome not only his rivals on track, but also ‘success penalties’ following his triple triumph in round one. With the series keen to ensure competition in its ranks, King, as winner of the ‘endurance’ race at the season-opener, would carry a 15-second time penalty into the same event at round two, requiring him to build as big a gap over the field as possible if he was to return to the top step of the podium.
Despite driver coach and team owner James Winslow limiting him to a single flying lap in qualifying for the longer race — in a bid to save as much of his tyres for the flat-out charge that was to come — King nailed a vital pole position, lapping in 1min 23.074secs to set a new qualifying lap record for the class, some eight-tenths clear of the rest, and give himself a clear path to the first corner. With a mandatory pit-stop mid-race, King’s goal was then to put sufficient distance between himself and his nearest rival to ensure that he could rejoin in — or very close to — the front.
“I was just pushing as hard as I could,” the youngster recounted. “It was basically qualifying pace throughout the opening stint, and our tyre strategy worked perfectly, as I gained a 14.8secs lead before pitting for my mandatory stop, and just got back out in the lead after serving my success penalty.”
King’s triumph in the longest of the weekend’s three races — which came complete with a new race lap record — bolstered a championship advantage already extended in each of the preceding sprint events, despite being denied the chance to dominate the weekend in quite the same way he had at the opening round.
Although he topped qualifying with an impressive 1min 23.441secs lap to claim pole for the weekend’s opening sprint race, King would be prevented from taking a clean sweep of top spot by team-mate Ian Loggie, whose second-best lap was enough to take pole for race two. The Team JWR pair then proceeded to pull away from the pack in the opening event to take another 1-2 result, before King dominated from the front to add a fifth win of the season next time around. Despite coming from the outside of row one, the Briton made the better start, with Loggie only reclaiming second place on the final lap with his team-mate already leading by some distance.
“Another great weekend, both for myself and the team,” King concluded, having taken his championship lead out to 55 points. “I couldn’t have asked for much more than three wins to extend my championship lead and I can go home for Christmas knowing that we’ve done absolutely as much as we can at this point in the season. Thanks obviously to my sponsors, Goldcrest Oil and BCG Investments, and to Team JWR. I think my New Year’s Resolution is going to be pretty obvious!”
The Gulf Radical Cup will return for its third round, at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, over the weekend of 20-22 January 2022.