Eddie ‘EJ’ Jordan; The Basics
If you are new to Formula One EJ to you will appear to be the guy in dodgy shirts who hangs around with Jake Humphrey and DC however EJ is one of the most experienced members of the BBC F1 Team and has a lot to talk about when it comes to F1.
In 1970 he entered his first kart race in Jersey and in 1971 won the Irish Kart Championship. He went on to compete in Formula Ford in 1974 for two years but had to sit out the 1976 season due to breaking both of his legs in a crash. He continued on into Formula Atlantic and Formula Two and his first taster of F1 came courtesy of McLaren as he began to do small parts of testing for the team.
By 1979 EJ set up his own team; Eddie Jordan Racing (of course!) who raced in 1981 in various events around Great Britain. In 1983 EJ had two drivers; James Weaver (European F3) and Martin Brundle (British F3) with Brundle finishing second to the one and only Ayrton Senna. Another significant signing came in 1987 in the form of Johnny Herbert who went on to win the British F3 Championship. 1989 saw another championship win for EJ thanks to Jean Alesi in the F3000 Championship.
EJ arrived in Formula One in 1991 with Gary Anderson (now a fellow member of the BBC team) as chief designer with the team named Jordan Grand Prix. This season saw the team give a young German his first taste of Formula One… Michael Schumacher but he was lured away from the team by rival team Benetton.
The best ever result for the team came in 1998 thanks to a 1-2 at Spa Francorchamps with Damon Hill and Ralf Schumacher respectively in what was a wet and eventful GP. Unfortunately the new millennium did not hold success for the team.
After losing a Honda engine partnership the team had to swap to the more expensive Cosworth engines and along with sponsorship loss the team began to spiral downwards. A surprise victory in Brazil in 2003 with Giancarlo Fisichella would be the last win for the team as it stood.
2004 would be EJ’s last year of complete ownership with drivers Timo Glock and Nick Heidfeld. In 2005 the team became MF1 Racing for the 2006 season and for 2007 were bought out to become Spyker F1 and sold on once more to become Force India in 2008 and has remained as FI since. The reminents of the Jordan beginnings remain with the team as Force India currently still reside in the old Jordan Factory at Silverstone. 2007 also saw EJ appointed as the chairman of Rally Ireland, a stage of the WRC (World Rally Championship.
EJ’s legacy was that small teams could compete and survive in Formula One with success and was quoted saying that ‘in fact won five times- the fifth being their survival on such small funds’. However it is now his personality and his ‘wacky ways’ that we have grown to love- who could ever forget George McCartney! From quite literally barging through the press and walking drivers over to the BBC team to his crazy shirts to his humour the BBC team would not be the same without him.
I think I speak on behalf of all F1 fans when I say that without EJ the BBC would lose some of its sparkle whether that is through his presence or just through his fashion is debatable!
Aside from motorsport EJ is a keen drummer and plays in his band ‘Eddie and the Robbers’ who play ‘The Chain’ at the after party at Silverstone every year- it really is a must see! In 2012 he was also awarded an OBE for his services to motorsport but also to charity. He is a patron of the CLIC Sargent who look after children suffering with cancer and also helped to raise money for Children in Need by auctioning off his signed shirt from the Indian GP.
So there you are behind the shirts, the comedy and crazy paddock antics is where EJ has come from to be where he is today. A great analyst, a brilliant retriever of Formula 1 personnel and also one of the most entertaining people to watch over the build up to a Formula One weekend.
Author: Grace Cunningham
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