The first time Jordan Cane found himself nestled in the seat of a Honda Cadet kart during a course at Thruxton he was the slowest out there. Three sessions later he was the quickest and with a new lap record under his belt. However, it’s long-since been the case that raw talent alone will not get you to the top of motorsport; you need to add naked ambition and sacrifice to the list for starters …
Growing up in the West Sussex village of Felpham, just a few miles from Goodwood, you’d think that potential motor racing stars would be hooked from an early stage. Apparently though, despite attending the Festival of Speed on numerous occasions young Jordan wasn’t all that taken with the idea, as his father Grant confirms: ‘Until 2012 he didn’t show much interest. Then, after FoS in 2012 he asked if he could do some motorsport.’ Today we’re looking at one of the fastest-rising talents in the country.
That request resulted in the session at Thruxton in the Honda Cadet kart which led to a seat with the factory Project One kart team. Little more than a year later the Canes discovered that in the States it is possible to attend the famous Skip Barber racing school aged just 13. One flight and a few sessions later Jordan sat atop the time sheets again. ‘Which really was impressive,’ Grant beams, ‘considering that until then his only experience of a clutch and gears was in a diesel van!’ Another trip to the Skip Barber school in Atlanta resulted in an SCCA race licence and the chance to test with a prominent Formula F1600 team called Team Pelfrey…
‘Jordan was invited down to a small test track in Florida and they ran him against the lad who’d finished 5th in the championship the year before,’ Grant explains. ‘At the end of the first day he was a second faster per lap and Pelfrey offered him a drive straight away!’ Despite the temptation to sign on the spot, the Canes thought carefully about the reality of racing Stateside as a 14-year old before calling back a fortnight later and accepting the deal.
The next time Jordan drove at the same test track he set a new lap record a full half second under the previous best time, which resulted in being asked to test tyres for Hoosier. Also, it wasn’t long after that a Formula One team showed an interest in Jordan and signed him up for its development programme. (Unfortunately, we’re sworn to secrecy on that front!)
What with all the money in European racing from the far east and Russia, it seems that America might be the last place where having more talent than financial backing can still get you places.
Grant again: ‘The winner of the US F2000 Championship gets $500,000 of scholarship. We’re hoping to get Jordan 100,000 ‘likes’ on Facebook to get his profile raised in the States. Also, the sports marketing agency Pro Racing Group are making a film about Jordan to promote him around the US. Hopefully we can raise enough funding over the next 18 months to get to F2000.’
The thing is though, Jordan is still at school and this year will have to fit in no fewer than 15 trips to the US. ‘I still want to fit in FoS as well!’ Jordan exclaims, which leads to an obvious question: If he could drive up the hill, what would it be in? His answer comes immediately: ‘Oh the Pikes Peak Peugeot 308 … or any F1 car!’