Eddie Jordan


Record updated

Eddie Jordan
Founder and former owner of Jordan Grand Prix, a Formula One constructor which operated from 1991 to 2005. Born in Ireland in 1948, Jordan grew up intending to become a dentist but left school to work for the Bank of Ireland as a clerk. When, during a strike in Dublin, he went to work on the island of Jersey, he witnessed kart racing for the first time and was enthralled; upon his return to Dublin, Jordan bought a kart and began racing. His first race was at Bouley Bay, Jersey, in 1970; he entered the Irish Kart Championship in 1971 and won it. In 1974 Jordan moved on to Formula Ford, where he competed for two years, but was forced to sit out the 1976 season when he broke both his legs in a crash. After his injuries had healed, he switched to Formula Atlantic, won three races in 1977, and won the Irish Formula Atlantic Championship in 1978. Jordan and Stefan Johansson raced in British Formula Three in 1979, calling themselves "Team Ireland". The same year, Jordan drove in one Formula Two race and did a bit of testing for McLaren. At the end of 1979 and short of money, Jordan founded his first team, Eddie Jordan Racing, which ran drivers David Leslie and David Sears in 1981 at various events in and around Great Britain. In 1982 his primary driver was James Weaver; in 1983 Weaver ran again in European F3 and Jordan hired Martin Brundle, who finished second to Ayrton Senna in British F3. In 1987 the team employed Johnny Herbert, who proceeded to win the British Formula Three Championship. Jordan also entered a Formula 3000 team, whose first wins came with drivers Herbert and Martin Donnelly in 1988. In 1989 the Jordan F3000 team dominated the season and Jordan driver Jean Alesi won the championship. Jordan founded Jordan Grand Prix in 1991. In 1998 the team achieved its best ever result when drivers Damon Hill and Ralf Schumacher finished first and second at the Belgian Grand Prix. After losing a Honda engine partnership deal to the BAR team in 2002, Jordan was forced to switch to Cosworth engines, causing his team to become a backmarker and putting its future in doubt. Jordan retained complete ownership of his team until 2004 and his rejections of rumoured approaches for buy outs (most notably from Peugeot and Honda) may have cost the team greater success. His famous charisma has enabled him to "finesse" a number of sponsorship deals, without which Jordan Grand Prix would almost certainly have gone the way of Prost or Arrows. His hobbies are rock and roll music (he plays the drums) and horse racing. At the end of the 2004 season and facing big financial difficulties, Jordan sold his team to the Canadian-Russian businessman Alex Shneider. The team is set to become Midland F1 in 2006. Eddie Jordan is not directly involved in Formula One any more, although he now writes a column for F1 Racing magazine.