JORDAN FORD 911
Black like carbon fibre. Later green like a frog. Or the beautiful countryside of Ireland the team has got its origins. No doubt, the Jordan Ford V8 was the car of the year in the 1991 Formula One Grand Prix season. It gave its debut during the winter test session under the model designation 911 - the same the famous Porsche has got since its first appearance in 1964. And that was the reason why the first ever Jordan Grand Prix car was renamed into 191 before it was brought to the grid for the first time at the United States Grand Prix at Phoenix/Arizona. Certain rumours in the press said Eddie Jordan had got a Porsche 911 absolutely free for doing this little favour to the Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen based sports car manufacturer. Eddie and the Green Mashines (Autosport) became one of the best debut stories in the history of Grand Prix racing. The banker among the group of team principals another saga is told of in 1991, that he found his first commercial sponsor in Formula One, Seven Up, in the backstage area of a Tina Turner concert - the grand lady of pop had got the same supporting company (PepsiCo Inc.).
With a little help from your friends - John Watson from Belfast/Northern Ireland, five times Grand Prix winner (last race: Grand Prix of Europe at Brands Hatch 1985) and vice champion in 1982, did the roll-out and the first testing of the black-coloured car bare of any sponsor sticker (see the drawing above). Publicity and good advice - what else does a new entrant need? Money, of course. Sometimes it is really easy to earn it. Eddie Jordan only took the chance.
After having done the fastest lap in the Hungarian Grand Prix at Budapest with the 191 the regular Jordan driver Bertrand Gachot (father from France, mother German, grown up in Belgium and Luxemburgh, where his dad made a diplomatic career at various institutions of the European Union) was put into jail, because he was accused of having attacked a London taxi driver. An excellent scandal to be enjoyed by press and public as well. And 450.000 D-Marks of value. That was the sum Michael Schumachers sponsors had to pay to make the 22-year-old German give his debut in the Jordan Ford 191 in the Grand Prix of Belgium at Spa-Francorchamps (Gachots home Grand Prix, but only 100 kms apart from Schumachers hometown of Kerpen-Manheim). Mercedes-Benz gave the bank guarantee, that the money was paid for their Group C-works driver. A prisoner and a new world star - that also belongs to the story of the Jordan Ford 191.
Functional design is at the same time aethetic (Gordon Murray) - the most beautiful car of the year designed by fellow engineer Gary Anderson, an Irishman, too, "clean, lean and green", as Edddie Jordan said, was a construction without experiments, because as a new entering team they had to free themselves from that time still existing prequalifying within the first half of the season. And there was also the need for points to reduce costs for the overseas trips. The Jordan 191 achieved both. Originally it had been designed to be driven by Martin Donnelly, as Watson coming from Belfast. But Donnellys career ended in the practice for the 1990 Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez de la Frontera, when his Lotus Lamborghini exploded crashing into the barrier at a speed of 260 km/h. But no man in the world ever had survived an accident with 100 g before ...
Year: 1991 Original model designation: 911 Designer: Gary Anderson Chassis: Jordan carbon fibre monocoque Engine: Ford Cosworth HB V8 Gearbox: Manual Jordan five speed Drivers: Andrea de Cesaris (italy), Bertrand Gachot (Belgium), Roberto Moreno (Brazil), Alessandro Zanardi (Italy) and Michael Schumacher (Germany) Sponsors: 7up, Philips Car Stereo, BP, Fujifilm, Brooksfield, Osama, Ireland, Marlboro, tic tac and others Best Grid Position: 7th (Schumacher in Belgium) Best Race Position: 4th (de Cesaris in Canada and Mexico) Fastest Laps: 1 (Gachot in Hungary) Constructors Worldchampionship 1991: 13 points/5th position overall
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