Having enjoyed a respectable racing career as a driver – encompassing Formula Ford, Three and Atlantic, as well as Le Mans and a McLaren testing role – Eddie Jordan concentrated his efforts on his eponymous racing team from 1979 onwards. Focusing initially on Formula Three and subsequently Formula 3000, the Dubliner’s formidable talent spotting and management skills would ultimately benefit names including Michael Schumacher, Damon Hill, Jean Alesi, Rubens Barrichello and Johnny Herbert.
Entering Formula 1 in 1991 with their svelte 191, Jordan Grand Prix rapidly assumed the role of plucky overachiever, securing a highly respectable 5th place in the Constructors’ Championship in its first year. In their sophomore season, the team was handed a reality check – scoring but a single point all year – but by the mid-1990s their form had returned, with the team finishing no lower than 6th in the Constructors’ standings in nine consecutive seasons between 1994 and 2002.
Having signed a lucrative sponsorship deal with Gallaher Tobacco for 1996, the team was re-branded Benson & Hedges Jordan-Peugeot, this being abbreviated to Benson & Hedges Jordan with the switch to customer Mugen-Honda power units in 1998. Damon Hill was signed to partner Ralf Schumacher that year, with the former taking a well-deserved maiden victory for the team in a chaotic Belgian Grand Prix.
Hill was joined by Heinz-Harald Frentzen for 1999, and whilst the former World Champion endured a lackluster season, Frentzen enjoyed a stellar year, with two wins and five other podium places securing him a remarkable 3rd place in the Drivers’ Championship. The team also took 3rd in the Constructors’ standings, making for Jordan’s best-ever season. Although tellingly, some 54 of the 61 points were scored by Frentzen.
This chassis – 003 – was used by Frentzen in the first Grand Prix of the year in Australia, where he finished an excellent 2nd to Eddie Irvine’s Ferrari after the front row-starting McLarens of Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard had retired. At the second race, at Interlagos, Frentzen produced a fine drive to take 3rd behind Hakkinen and Michael Schumacher’s Ferrari. Thereafter, the chassis was relegated to spare car duties, and it is understood that it was not raced again.
2nd at the Australian GP, and 3rd at Brazil in 1999 with Heinz-Harald Frentzen
Instrumental in achieving 3rd place for both Frentzen and Jordan in the 1999 World Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships
Substantially complete, with original specification Mugen-Honda engine
Ideal for use in BOSS GP series
Sold For €241.250 at RM | Sotheby's - Monaco on 12 May 2018
COURTESY OF RM | Sotheby's