Ningbo, China – Monday 15th October 2018: Mullingar’s Jordan Dempsey has joined a very exclusive club, becoming one of only a small number of Irish competitors to win an FIA Championship, having secured outright honours in the China F4 Championship last weekend at the final rounds around the Ningbo International Circuit.
Coming into the weekend with a 20 point lead in the series, Dempsey had endured a trying weekend last time out in Wuhan. The tricky nature of a street circuit was a new experience for the teenager and it’s unique characteristics presented plenty of challenges. Despite that, Jordan maintained his championship advantage coming into the final three races of the season at a circuit that had seen the Westmeath man take two wins at the previous visit earlier in the season.
Setting an early marker in free practice that he was keen to finish his year on a high by topping the time sheets, Dempsey maintained that form in qualifying to secure pole position by two tenths of a second for the opening race of the weekend.
Race one turned out to be a text book performance for the Pinnacle Motorsport run driver. A superb start translated into an early lead that Jordan would ultimately build and extend to over five seconds, taking the chequered flag to the elation of his team as he edged ever closer to securing the championship title.
Starting race two again from pole position, this time Dempsey had to keep one eye on the championship as he was now in a prime position to seal the deal in the second race of the weekend. Keen to remain out of any trouble, Dempsey slipped back to fourth early on. Nevertheless, the natural racer was keen to return to the front and worked his way forwards over the following laps. As he closed in on the lead, Dempsey opted to remain in second as a potential lead battle looked as if it could be risky. However, the runner-up spot would be sufficient for Dempsey to secure his first FIA title, as he completed the race in second and put the championship lead out of reach of his nearest rivals with one race to spare.
Despite basking in the glory and elation with his team, quickly normality had to resume as there was one final race of the weekend to complete. Being a consummate professional, Jordan was quickly focused back on the job in hand. Starting from P9, Dempsey had become a master in working his way up through the field throughout the season. Jordan’s final race of the championship wasn’t going to give the newly crowned champion an easy time however. A problem on the grid as the green flag lap began meant that he had to be pushed into the pitlane with a gear selection problem, that would eventually see him start from there. A rapid repair by the Pinnacle mechanics sent him out well behind the train. However a Safety Car start due to the heavily wet track conditions was of some help in his quest to catch up. One by one he worked his way up the order and was now incredibly up to P3. Further drama would ensue however as he was spun out by a rival dropping him back down the order. With a return of that dreaded gear selection issue, Dempsey managed to find third gear to get going and reset his charge up the order. With the very clear and loud support of the Ningbo crowds cheering on the Irishman, Jordan charged back up the field once more to finish the race in fourth, which following post-race penalties would become P3 as his reward for a thrilling final race of the season.
Jordan Dempsey – #3 Pinnacle Motorsport F4:
“What a great year. To win an FIA affiliated championship is a great feeling! I can’t thank the guys at Pinnacle Motorsport enough, they’ve been a step ahead all year and it really shows with the championship title! Also thanks to Tim and Rosalee at TBRM, Digital Planet, Motorsport Ireland, Sport Ireland, Team Ireland and my family for always supporting me!”