Jordan Grand Prix - a Team history

Eddie Jordan started his working life at the Bank of Ireland and but for a twist of fate may never have started on the road to Formula 1. During the summer of 1970 there was a banking strike in Dublin and the young Eddie Jordan decided to move to Jersey in the Channel Islands. It was there at Bouley Bay that Eddie first saw a kart race and was hooked.

On his return to Ireland, Jordan bought a 100cc kart and in 1972, won the Irish Championship. The next season he started a successful single seater career, even going as far as testing a McLaren Formula One car before deciding to start Eddie Jordan Racing (EJR) in 1980. EJR was primarily set up to help Eddie achieve the dream of winning the F1 World Championship but in 1981 he stopped racing to pursue his dream as team manager.

In 1981 David Sears drove the EJR Ralt-Toyota in the 1981 British Formula 3 series and in his first race qualified on pole and finished second. The next year Jordan ran cars in both British and European F3 (winning a race in Europe) and that year also gave a young, unknown Brazilian driver his first taste of F3. That driver was Ayrton Senna.

The following season EJR ran Martin Brundle and Allen Berg in British F3 and Tommy Byrne in Europe. Brundle took 6 wins but only managed to finish 2nd overall owing to the record number of wins that Senna scored.

In 1984 Berg repeated Brundle's performance and Stefan Johansson (former F1 driver, now racing in Indycar) won one heat at that years Macau GP. Due to the success of the past two years Eddie Jordan decided to expand his operation to include the new Formula 3000 (now in it's final season) Championship but little success in either championship came thier way.

In 1986 EJR's luck turned and after a mid-season change from the Ralt chassis (used since their inaugural year) to Reynard saw the team take no less than 5 wins for Maurizio Sala. The team also ran two March-Ford chassis in F3000 as well as racing in French F3.

In 1987 Johnny Herbert (now of Benetton) was paired with Paul Stott in the British F3 Championship with Joe Ris racing in French F3 and Tomas Kaiser racing in a few F3000 events. This time the British F3 Championship did not elude Jordan with Herbert winning 5 rounds.

1988 brought further changes with the team running a total of 5 cars (2 in Class A F3, one in Class B and 2 in F3000). The Class B F3 entry, driven by Rowan Dewhurst came second overall with, once again, 5 wins. Tragically Johnny Herbert's first season of international racing was cut short by a horrific accident at Brands Hatch (after winning the first round) and so EJR had look to Martin Donnelly (replacing Tomas Danielsson) for results. Astoundingly he finished third overall even though he only drove in 5 of 11 races in the F3000 calendar.

Martin was joined in F3000 by Jean Alesi for the 1989 season and after a dominant season for Jordan, Alesi won the crown with Donnelly finishing second. EJR also ran successful cars in both British F3000 and F3 (the latter with Rickard Rydell, now driving for Volvo in the BTC).

1990 saw Eddie cut back his operations in readiness for a move up to F1 and because of this only 3 cars were run, all three in F3000. Eddie Irvine was the most successful of the three (partnered as he was by Heinz Harald Frentzen of Sauber) and came third overall.

In 1991 Damon Hill and Vincenzo Sospiri drove Mugen powered Reynards to little success due to a poor chassis design, making Eddie Jordan one of the only people in F1 to run F3000 and F1 at the same time. The Jordan 191 took the other teams by surprise and shocked many with a well deserved 5th place in the Constructors' Championship.

Eddie Jordan had big plans for his team for the 1992 season with a move to a purpose built site, major sponsorship and a works engine deal with Yamaha. Unfortunately the season was a disaster with the team scoring only one point (at Adelaide) over the whole season.

In 1993, Eddie gave up the unwieldy Yamaha and signed a contract with Brian Hart for the supply of his new v10 engine and signed young Brazilian Rubens Barrichello to the team. The combination of chassis, engine and driver was a good one and Rubens nearly took a podium place in the European GP at Donington, but a fuel pressure problem stopped him with only a few laps to go. The points again took time to come but a superb drive by Barrichello saw him take fifth at Suzuka, closely followed by new team-mate Eddie Irvine.

1994 was the season that put the team firmly on the F1 map. Barrichello took 4th at the Brazilian GP and then 3rd at the Pacific GP (the team's first podium place). In the meantime, Irvine was banned for 3 races for an incident involving 2 other cars at the Interlagos race, but he came back for the Spanish race and finished 6th. The season continued to get better when Rubens took both his and the teams first pole position at Spa Francorchamps in Belgium due to a perfectly timed lap on the drying track. By the end of the season the team had scored 28 points (over twice their previous best) and secured fifth place in the Championship.

1995 saw that start of a 3-year deal with Peugeot and Total, retaining the same driver line-up. The season has so far yielded little due to bad luck, but the team's perseverance was paid off with 2nd and 3rd at the Canadian GP.

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