Eddie Jordan

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Eddie Jordan
EddieJordan.JPG
Jordan at a DTM race in 2009
Born Edmund Patrick Jordan
(1948-03-30) 30 March 1948 (age 66)
Dublin, Ireland
Nationality Irish
Occupation businessman, commentator, analyst
Employer BBC
Spouse(s) Marie Jordan (m. 1983)
Children 4
24 Hours of Le Mans career
Participating years 1981
Teams EMKA Productions Limited
Best finish DNF (24th)
Class wins 0
For other people named Eddie Jordan, see Eddie Jordan (disambiguation).

Edmund Patrick "Eddie" Jordan, also known as "EJ" (born 30 March 1948) is an Irish former motorsport team boss, businessman, entrepreneur, musician and mentor. He was the founder and owner of Jordan Grand Prix, a Formula One constructor which operated from 1991 to 2005. He is currently the lead analyst for Formula One coverage on the BBC.[1]

Born in Dublin, Jordan initially planned on becoming a priest due to his religious background, and later a dentist before working for the Bank of Ireland. He discovered go-kart racing on a holiday in Jersey, later entering the Irish Kart Championship in 1971 which he won. A move to Formula Ford in 1974 resulted in consistency over two years and later entered the Formula Atlantic and Formula Three championships. In 1979 Jordan founded Eddie Jordan Racing entering motor races across the United Kingdom later entering Formula 3000. In 1991 Jordan established a new team Jordan Grand Prix which raced in Formula One motor racing from 1991 until selling the team to Russian-Canadian businessman Alex Shnaider who renamed the team Midland in 2006.

In 2009 Jordan returned as an analyst for the BBC's Formula One coverage alongside former Formula One driver David Coulthard and journalist Jake Humphrey becoming known for breaking stories before they were confirmed by teams.

Early life[edit]

Jordan was born Edmund Patrick Jordan at the Wentworth Nursing Home in Dublin on 30 March 1948, the son of Eileen and Paddy Jordan. He has one older sibling, Helen. Paddy was the twin brother of a senior nun, Mother Rectrus of the Irish Sisters of Charity[2] and he worked as an accountant for an electricity board. When Jordan was ten months old, he developed a form of Pink's disease. Jordan's family were advised by doctors to move out for more fresh air. Eileen was advised to push Jordan out of Wool and into Cotton during the month of May, a belief she strongly disagreed with but took the advice of her Doctors. Jordan's condition did gradually improve.[3] During his childhood, Jordan grew up in Dartry, south Dublin and Bray, County Wicklow. Jordan spent most of his time in Bray, County Wicklow where he became close with his Aunt Lilian having constantly traveled to meet her at the end of the school week. In his childhood, Jordan was known by the nickname "Flash" as his surname rhymed with the name Gordon and his sense of fashion.[2]

Jordan began his education at Saint Anne's Pre-School in Miltown later spending eleven years at the Synge Street Christian Brothers School, and would be regularly beaten if he and fellow students did not study hard.[2] However, from this experience, Jordan found the level of education to be high. During his time at Synge Street, Jordan considered becoming a priest at the age of 15[3] having went to mass on every morning during Lent and attended Sodality every week with his aunt.[2]

Intending to become a dentist upon the suggestion of his mother, he ended up taking a six-week accountancy course at the College of Commerce, Dublin and later began working for the Bank of Ireland as a clerk at their branch in Mullingar. After four years, Jordan moved to their branch in Camden Street, Dublin. During a strike in Dublin in 1970, he went on holiday to the island of Jersey working for their electricity company and earned extra money working in a bar.[3] During this holiday, Jordan watched and took part in kart racing for the first time.[4]

Career[edit]

Motor racing[edit]

Upon his return to Dublin, Jordan bought a kart and began racing. His first race was at the Bouley Bay Hill Climb, 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, under the name "Team Ireland". The same year, Jordan drove in one Formula Two race and did a small amount of testing for McLaren.

Team management[edit]

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. During 1989, hired Reynard Chief Designer Gary Anderson becoming Donnelly's engineer and overseeing operations of the team eventually joining full-time on 4 February 1990.[2]

Mentor[edit]

A host of drivers owe their breaks to Eddie as a champion of young talent. Drivers who have won Grands Prix who have driven for Eddie include world champions Damon Hill, Nigel Mansell, Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna, while Jean Alesi, Rubens Barichello, Thierry Boutsen, Giancarlo Fisichella, Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Johnny Herbert, Eddie Irvine, Roberto Moreno, Ralf Schumacher, Jarno Trulli and John Watson also drove in Jordan cars.

Formula One[edit]

Main article: Jordan Grand Prix
Jordan as team principal of Jordan Grand Prix at the 1996 Canadian Grand Prix

Jordan founded Jordan Grand Prix in 1991 with Anderson as Chief Designer. The team quickly gained its respect and punched above their weight on a number of occasions during the season. Jordan gave Michael Schumacher his Formula 1 debut in the team's debut season. After one race for the team, Schumacher was lured away to rivals Benetton.

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. In 1999, Jordan achieved their F1 zenith when Heinz-Harald Frentzen became a genuine contender for the championship, ultimately finishing third, the best placing ever of a Jordan driver and accumulating two race wins along the way. He was leading the European Grand Prix, but retired because of electrical problems. Had he won the race, Frentzen would have been within a point of the championship lead with two rounds remaining.

Decline and sale[edit]

After losing a Honda engine partnership deal to the BAR team in 2002 and numerous difficulties within the team (including a very public row and the sacking of Frentzen before his home GP), Jordan was forced to switch to expensive Cosworth engines. The added burden of this plus DHL withdrawing their sponsorship and Benson and Hedges toning down their sponsorship soon added up and the lack of funds made his team go from bad to worse in 2003. However despite this, Jordan delivered an improbable race win in Brazil 2003 courtesy of Giancarlo Fisichella, the first for Fisichella and the last Formula One victory for the Ford Motor Company and the Jordan team. In 2001 Jordan sued Vodafone for allegedly breaking a three year sponsorship agreement worth $150 million but lost the case creating further setbacks for Team Jordan.

Jordan's steep fall from the glitzy heights of 3rd in the constructors in 1999 was now out of control. Despite new sponsorship from Trust computers and the addition of "Quick" Nick Heidfeld and a promising young rookie in Timo Glock for 2004, Jordan was in serious trouble. 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. Jordan, however, said at the team's final race that they in fact won five times- the fifth being their survival on such small funds.

Team after Jordan[edit]

Midland Group, financed by wealthy Russian-Canadian businessman Alex Shnaider, bought Jordan Grand Prix in early 2005, and the team was subsequently renamed MF1 Racing for 2006. The team was sold again in 2006 to Dutch car manufacturer Spyker Cars to become Spyker F1 for 2007, and then sold once more to become Force India in 2008. Force India still competes in Formula One and operates out of Jordan's old premises at Silverstone.

Other motorsports interests[edit]

In 2009, Jordan returned to the F1 scene as a pundit for BBC Sport F1 coverage alongside Jake Humphrey (who was later replaced by Suzi Perry) and David Coulthard.[5]

Jordan wrote a monthly column called 'This much I know' for F1 Racing magazine, until they relaunched with Murray Walker writing instead. Jordan also worked on a TV series called "Eddie Jordan's Bad Boy Racers."[6] In 2007 he was appointed Chairman of Rally Ireland, a round of the World Rally Championship.

Jordan has broken many stories before they were due to be confirmed; these include Lewis Hamilton's move to Mercedes, Michael Schumacher's return in 2010 and Felipe Massa's departure from Ferrari.

Other interests[edit]

Jordan loves rock and roll music, and he personally plays the drums. Until 2007 his band's name was V10.[citation needed] A cut down version of the band is currently gigging at various venues around the world under the name of "Eddie & The Robbers". Jordan is a fan of Celtic FC, Coventry City[citation needed] and Chelsea[7] and has been linked with takeover bids for Coventry.[8] Jordan is also a Celtic FC shareholder.[9] Jordan's other sporting interests include golf and horse racing, where he has horses in training with Mouse Morris.[6]

He has several other companies still owned partly or wholly by himself, including the vodka brand Vodka V10 and the energy drink brand EJ-10. He also invested in the notorious Bulgarian property company Madara Capital, which attracted controversy for its tasteless attempts to develop karadere beach where he was also a director.

He is a member of two famous Irish clubs: the Royal Dublin Golf Club and the Royal Cork Yacht Club.

Jordan has written an autobiography, "An Independent Man", which was published in May 2007.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Jordan suffers from alopecia as a result of a racing accident sustained during his youth.[10] As such, he is a noted wig wearer; carrying three to simulate hair growth.[11]

He is married to Marie (née McCarthy), a former Ireland Under-18 basketball player.[7] The couple have been married for 35 years and have four children: Zoe, Miki, Zak & Kyle. Their main base is in Ireland where Jordan keeps his personal helicopter, and he has homes in Wentworth,[6] South Kensington, London and Monaco, where he keeps his yacht.[4] In March 2012, it was announced that Jordan had received an honorary OBE for services to charity and motor racing.[7]

Jordan is still a patron of the child cancer charity CLIC Sargent.[6][7]

Honours[edit]

Eddie has been awarded two prestigious awards in Ireland. He received the James Joyce Award from the Literary and Historical Society of University College Dublin, the largest student society in Ireland, to honour his outstanding contribution to motorsport in Ireland. He also received the Gold Medal of Honorary Patronage of the University Philosophical Society of Trinity College, Dublin to honour his contribution to motor racing and his charity work over the years.

He holds honorary doctorates from the University of Ulster[12] and Dublin Institute of Technology.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "BBC's Formula 1 team". BBC News. 2011-01-17. Retrieved 2011-04-01. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Jordan, Eddie (2007). An Independent Man. Orion Books. ISBN 978-0-7528-8950-4. 
  3. ^ a b c Aspel, Michael (7 February 2000). This is Your Life (Television). London, England: BBC. 
  4. ^ a b Macauley, Ted (2001-04-15). "TRUE GRID; Ten years ago Irishman Eddie Jordan was going nowhere fast". Sunday Mirror. Retrieved 2010-05-17. 
  5. ^ "Coulthard, Jordan & Brundle join BBC". BBC News. 2008-11-24. Retrieved 2010-05-01. 
  6. ^ a b c d "The Big Interview: Eddie Jordan". London: Sunday Times. 2006-08-13. Retrieved 2010-05-17. 
  7. ^ a b c d BBC News Report
  8. ^ Eddie Jordan - I'm not City Saviour www.cwn.org.uk Retrieved 14 November 2006
  9. ^ "O'Neill invests £2m in Celtic". BBC News. 2001-07-31. Retrieved 2010-05-01. 
  10. ^ Eddie Jordan: From the Grand Prix to charity [1] Retrieved 5 May 2009
  11. ^ Dron, Peter (2003-10-25). "Keep your hair on, Eddie!". The Daily Telegraph (London). 
  12. ^ "F1 Boss Eddie Jordan On Pole Position At UU Graduations". University of Ulster. 2002-07-03. Retrieved 2014-01-18. 
  13. ^ "Pierce Brosnan and Eddie Jordan awarded doctorates". Dublin Institute of Technology. 2003-06-23. Retrieved 2014-01-18. 

External links[edit]