Jordan drivers enjoy rally experience

F1 stars learn rally craft Jordan Ford drivers, Ralph Firman and Giancarlo Fisichella were already whizzing around a track at the Nurburgring yesterday, but it wasn't the race track and they weren't in their EJ13s. The two F1 stars were ...

F1 stars learn rally craft

Jordan Ford drivers, Ralph Firman and Giancarlo Fisichella were already whizzing around a track at the Nurburgring yesterday, but it wasn't the race track and they weren't in their EJ13s. The two F1 stars were experiencing Ford power of a different sort, when they got a unique insight into the black art of rally driving.

Jordan Grand Prix Giancarlo Fisichella and Ralph Firman with Ford WRC Michael Park and Markko Martin.
Photo by Jordan Grand Prix.
Their teacher for the day was none other than Markko Martin, Ford's driver in the World Rally Championship. The Estonian is a rising star of the sport and recently won the car-breaking Acropolis Rally, his maiden victory on a World Championship Rally. Fisichella, also a first time winner in F1 this year, really enjoyed being hustled round the short tarmac stage, just outside the Nurburgring proper, before getting behind the wheel himself, with a nervous looking Martin in the co-driver's seat.

"It was a great experience," said the Italian afterwards. I competed in the Monza Rally in 1997, but not in a car as good as this, which seemed to be as responsive as my F1 machine."

Ralph was equally enthusiastic, and attacked the jumps on the track with gusto, getting "good air" on several occasions. Firman, who naturally is more used to being on his own in the car, found listening to pace notes read by Markko's regular co-driver, Michael Park, a novel experience.

"Having someone tell you which way the road goes certainly gives you confidence," said Ralph, "but when he started telling me what was coming up a few corners further on, I couldn't remember what he'd said. The car handled superbly, even though there was a bit more understeer than I expected."

-jordan-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Ralph Firman , Michael Park , Markko Martin
Teams Jordan