Ralph Firman

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Ralph Firman
Ralph Firman 2008 Super GT.jpg
Born (1975-05-20) 20 May 1975 (age 39)
Formula One World Championship career
Nationality Republic of Ireland Irish
Active years 2003
Teams Jordan
Races 15 (14 starts)
Championships 0
Wins 0
Podiums 0
Career points 1
Pole positions 0
Fastest laps 0
First race 2003 Australian Grand Prix
Last race 2003 Japanese Grand Prix
Nationality United Kingdom British
24 Hours of Le Mans career
Participating years 2004
Teams Racing for Holland
Best finish NC
Class wins 0

Ralph David Firman Jr. (born 20 May 1975 in Norwich, Norfolk, England) is an English-born racing driver who races under Irish citizenship (his mother Angela is from Ireland) and an Irish-issued racing licence. Earlier in his career he raced under a British licence. His father, Ralph Firman, Sr., co-founded the Van Diemen[1] racecar constructor with Ross Ambrose, father of NASCAR racer Marcos, then more recently founded RFR. He is married to Aldís Kristín Árnadóttir, an Icelandic UK-educated lawyer. Ralph's sister, Natasha, is also a racing driver.

Career[edit]

Formula Three[edit]

Firman driving for Paul Stewart Racing at Silverstone during the 1995 British Formula Three Championship season.

Educated at Gresham's School between 1988 and 1993, Firman went straight into motor racing on leaving school. Despite leading much of the 1995 British F3 championship, he lost the title at the final round to Oliver Gavin. However, he continued in the championship in 1996 and captured the title at his second attempt.

Macau Grand Prix controversy[edit]

Firman won the prestigious Macau Grand Prix in 1996 under controversial circumstances. At the end of round 1, Firman finished ahead of German Formula 3 champion Jarno Trulli. In round 2, he was overtaken by Trulli on the last lap. Firman was running with a broken front wing. Just as Jarno Trulli was on the way to victory, Firman crashed at the hairpin corner, blocked the track and caused a red flag. The race officials counted the results to the previous lap when Firman was ahead of Trulli, thus giving him the win.

Formula Nippon[edit]

Firman then moved to Japan, culminating in the 2002 Formula Nippon championship, before returning to Europe.

Formula One[edit]

Firman driving for Jordan at the 2003 French GP.

Firman secured a seat in Formula One for the 2003 season at the Jordan team,[2] alongside Giancarlo Fisichella. He participated in 14 Formula One Grands Prix, debuting at the 2003 Australian Grand Prix. He scored one championship point, in the 2003 Spanish Grand Prix. He was injured in a huge crash during practice for the 2003 Hungarian Grand Prix which forced him to sit out this and the next race, in which he was replaced by Zsolt Baumgartner.

Post-Formula One[edit]

Firman driving the Honda HSV-010 GT for ARTA at the 2010 Super GT Fuji 400km race.

Firman has also competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and was an official test driver for the A1 Grand Prix series in August 2004.

In August 2005, it was announced that he would be the driver for A1 Team Ireland. He had previously been seen to be in competition for the Great Britain seat.

In 2007, Firman, along with Daisuke Ito, won the Japan Super GT GT500 class championship with the Aguri Suzuki co-owned ARTA team. Firman and Ito won the championship before the final race of the season, a first in the series' competitive history.

Racing career[edit]

Complete Formula Nippon results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 DC Points
1997 Team TMS SUZ
Ret
MIN
4
FUJ
15
SUZ
6
SUG
2
FUJ
13
MIN
Ret
MOT
5
FUJ
Ret
SUZ
11
8th 12
1998 Team Nova SUZ
12
MIN
Ret
FUJ
Ret
MOT
14
SUZ
Ret
SUG
2
MIN
4
FUJ
3
SUZ
7
7th 13
1999 Team Nova SUZ
Ret
MOT
3
MIN
2
FUJ
9
SUZ
Ret
SUG
6
FUJ
10
MIN
9
MOT
8
SUZ
1
4th 21
2000 Team Nova SUZ
Ret
MOT
11
MIN
Ret
FUJ
6
SUZ
7
SUG
2
MOT
10
FUJ
13
MIN
5
SUZ
Ret
9th 9
2001 Nakajima Racing SUZ
5
MOT
Ret
MIN
2
FUJ
6
SUZ
Ret
SUG
Ret
FUJ
7
MIN
8
MOT
1
SUZ
1
4th 29
2002 Nakajima Racing SUZ
1
FUJ
2
MIN
Ret
SUZ
1
MOT
9
SUG
1
FUJ
2
MIN
2
MOT
1
SUZ
3
1st 62

Complete JGTC/Super GT results[edit]

Year Team Car Class 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 DC Points
1997 Team TMS Porsche 911 GT2 GT500 SUZ
13
FUJ
7
SEN
13
FUJ
13
MIN
SUG
DNQ
25th 4
1999 Team Taeivon Ralliart Mitsubishi FTO GT300 SUZ
2
FUJ
Ret
SUG
5
MIN
Ret
FUJ
3
TAI
8
MOT
7
6th 42
2000 Toyota Team SARD Toyota GT500 MOT
10
FUJ
Ret
SUG
6
FUJ
2
TAI
Ret
MIN
8
SUZ
16
12th 25
2002 Nakajima Racing Honda NSX GT500 TAI
1
FUJ
11
SUG
Ret
SEP
1
FUJ
12
MOT
14
MIN
6
SUZ
1
2nd 74
2005 Autobacs Racing Team Aguri Honda NSX GT500 OKA
4
FUJ
12
SEP
2
SUG
6
MOT
16
FUJ
8
AUT
1
SUZ
12
2nd 61
2006 Autobacs Racing Team Aguri Honda NSX GT500 SUZ
3
OKA
7
FUJ
8
SEP
1
SUG
8
SUZ
6
MOT
15
AUT
11
FUJ
14
7th 68
2007 Autobacs Racing Team Aguri Honda NSX GT500 SUZ
12
OKA
1
FUJ
9
SEP
6
SUG
1
SUZ
2
MOT
12
AUT
1
FUJ
8
1st 94
2008 Autobacs Racing Team Aguri Honda NSX GT500 SUZ
14
OKA
3
FUJ
Ret
SEP
11
SUG
15
SUZ
13
MOT
2
AUT
3
FUJ
12
8th 49
2009 Autobacs Racing Team Aguri Honda NSX GT500 OKA
3
SUZ
14
FUJ
3
SEP
3
SUG
14
SUZ
12
FUJ
1
AUT
4
MOT
1
2nd 81
2010 Autobacs Racing Team Aguri Honda HSV-010 GT GT500 SUZ
Ret
OKA
6
FUJ
11
SEP
11
SUG
12
SUZ
1
FUJ
C
MOT
7
11th 29
2012 Autobacs Racing Team Aguri Honda HSV-010 GT GT500 OKA
6
FUJ
Ret
SEP
12
SUG
Ret
SUZ
7
FUJ
9
AUT
11
MOT
13
16th 12
2013 Autobacs Racing Team Aguri Honda HSV-010 GT GT500 OKA
9
FUJ
8
SEP
8
SUG
1
SUZ
12
FUJ
8
AUT
14
MOT
15
11th 31

Complete Formula One results[edit]

(key)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 WDC Points
2003 Jordan Ford Jordan EJ13 Ford V10 AUS
Ret
MAL
10
BRA
Ret
SMR
Ret
ESP
8
AUT
11
MON
12
CAN
Ret
EUR
11
FRA
15
GBR
13
GER
Ret
HUN
DNS
ITA
USA
Ret
JPN
14
19th 1

Complete 24 Hours of Le Mans results[edit]

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
2004 Netherlands Racing for Holland Netherlands Tom Coronel
United Kingdom Justin Wilson
Dome S101-Judd LMP1 313 DNF DNF

Complete A1 Grand Prix results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 DC Points
2005–06 Ireland GBR
SPR

GBR
FEA

GER
SPR

9
GER
FEA

6
POR
SPR

19
POR
FEA

3
AUS
SPR

AUS
FEA

MYS
SPR

7
MYS
FEA

9
UAE
SPR

4
UAE
FEA

Ret
RSA
SPR

4
RSA
FEA

Ret
IDN
SPR

6
IDN
FEA

Ret
MEX
SPR

Ret
MEX
FEA

Ret
USA
SPR

5
USA
FEA

6
CHN
SPR

CHN
FEA

8th 68
2007–08 NED
SPR

8
NED
FEA

6
CZE
SPR

CZE
FEA

MYS
SPR

MYS
FEA

ZHU
SPR

ZHU
FEA

NZL
SPR

NZL
FEA

AUS
SPR

AUS
FEA

RSA
SPR

RSA
FEA

MEX
SPR

MEX
FEA

SHA
SPR

SHA
FEA

GBR
SPR

GBR
SPR

6th 94

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Oliver Gavin
British Formula Three Champion
1996
Succeeded by
Jonny Kane
Preceded by
Ralf Schumacher
Macau Grand Prix Winner
1996
Succeeded by
Soheil Ayari
Preceded by
Satoshi Motoyama
Formula Nippon Champion
2002
Succeeded by
Satoshi Motoyama
Preceded by
Juichi Wakisaka
André Lotterer
Super GT (GT500) Champion
2007 with:
Daisuke Itō
Succeeded by
Satoshi Motoyama
Benoît Tréluyer
Awards
Preceded by
Dario Franchitti
McLaren Autosport BRDC Award
1993
Succeeded by
Jamie Davies