Ralf Schumacher signs with Jordan-Peugeot

SCHUMACHER TO DRIVE FOR B&H JORDAN ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ September 20, 1996 - Ralf Schumacher is to drive for Benson and Hedges Total Jordan-Peugeot. The 21-year old German, younger ...

SCHUMACHER TO DRIVE FOR B&H JORDAN ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ September 20, 1996 - Ralf Schumacher is to drive for Benson and Hedges Total Jordan-Peugeot. The 21-year old German, younger brother of double World Champion, Michael Schumacher, has signed a three-year contract with the Silverstone-based Formula One team and will make his Grand Prix debut at the start of the 1997 season. The announcement was made by team owner Eddie Jordan at a press conference in Estoril, where practice begins today for the Portuguese Grand Prix. At the same time, Benson and Hedges con- firmed its continuance as the title sponsor of the team. "Ralf is a proven winner in karts, F3, and F300," said Eddie Jordan. "He has an abundance of raw talent, speed and commitment and I'm extremely happy that we can be part of this young man's exciting future". "Of course I am more than pleased to start my Formula One career in such a competitive team as Benson and Hedges Total Jordan-Peugeot," Schumacher said. "This is really an extraordi- nary stroke of luck and a big chance for a young driver like me. I shall do my level best to justify the confidence B&H Jordan has put in me and I hope to be able to come up with one or two posi- tive surprises." Schumacher is scheduled to drive a Jordan-Peugeot 196 for the first time next Tuesday (September 24th), when he joins the team at a test session in Estoril. It will not be his first experience behind the wheel of an F1 car though. Ralf drove a McLaren-Mercedes last month and was subsequently offered a test- ing contract with the team, which he declined. Ralf's forthcoming entry into the big time is welcomed by brother Michael, who also made his Grand Prix debut with Jordan back in 1991. "I am very pleased to see Ralf in Formula One next year," the World Champion said. "He has indeed surprised me with the results of his tests; not only the lap times he showed, but also by his professional approach. I think that Jordan-Peugeot will be an ideal team for him." "We are extremely grateful to McLaren who gave Ralf the chance to show his talent in a top Formula One car and, under ideal conditions," Willy Weber, who manages both Schumacher brothers, said. "However, when the possibility came to race in Formula One with a professional team like B&H Jordan, we decided to accept." Schumacher's appointment has met with the approval of tech- nical partners Peugeot and Total, and title sponsors Benson and Hedges, whose distinctive gold colours Ralf will carry next year. "The brotherly rivalry between Michael and Ralf is sure to make for some interesting times next season," said Nigel Nor- thridge, Sales and Marketing Director for Gallaher Ltd, owners of the Benson and Hedges brand. "We are excited about the opportuni- ties and prospects for the Benson and Hedges Total Jordan-Peugeot team in the year ahead and are delighted with the continuation of our sponsorship," he concluded.

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Ralf Schumacher , Michael Schumacher , Eddie Jordan
Teams Mercedes , McLaren , Jordan