The Benson and Hedges Jordan team will be looking to repeat history at a circuit that holds a lot of memories for Eddie Jordan and the team. Last year saw the Benson and Hedges Jordan team secure five world championship points at Spa with an ...
The Benson and Hedges Jordan team will be looking to repeat history at a circuit that holds a lot of memories for Eddie Jordan and the team. Last year saw the Benson and Hedges Jordan team secure five world championship points at Spa with an impressive third place podium for Heinz-Harald Frentzen and sixth place for Hill. "I think everyone in the Benson and Hedges Jordan team is looking forward to Spa. It has so many great memories for us!" says Eddie Jordan Chief Executive of Jordan Grand Prix.
Jordan Continues, " Looking back over the years, Spa has had its ups and downs for us. In 1991 we so nearly won our first race with De Cesaris, but a blown engine robbed the team of a possible win. However, we contributed significantly to F1 that race by giving Michael Schumacher his debut. Back in Spa three years later Rubens Barrichello gave the team its first pole position which was a moment to remember. Then in 1998 Mugen-Honda helped us realise our dreams and we made real history with the one-two victory for Damon and Ralf, in what is certainly one of the highest points of our first decade in Formula One. Spa always seems to bring out the best in us and I hope that we will be able to look back at this forth-coming race with fond recollections."
Jordan's Managing Director, Trevor Foster, is confident both Benson and Hedges Jordan drivers will perform well in Belgium. "All the drivers love the Spa circuit and gain real satisfaction out of racing here. I think the combination of high speed corners and the undulating nature of the track is what makes it so special. We hope to find the perfect set up for the car so that Heinz and Jarno will get a real thrill."
Frentzen agrees that Spa is a very exciting circuit to drive on. "It is very exciting for different reasons," he explains. "I like it because it is a very natural track with long straights and very interesting turns into the forest. The fast corners are challenging, and Eau Rouge is the most exciting corner of the F1 season. It is a challenge to make it flat through the turn at around 250 km per hour in qualifying. And of course the weather is so unpredictable which adds even more excitement. This circuit is in fact the closest circuit to my home town of Monchengladbach many of my fans visit the circuit so you could say this is my home Grand Prix."
Jarno Trulli also has good memories of racing at Spa. In 1998 the Italian driver secured his first points for Prost when he came from thirteenth on the grid to finish in sixth. "In '98 I had a good race managing to work my way up the field and finish in a points scoring position, it was a great moment for me," said Trulli. "I like Spa very much it is my favourite track of the season and is very exciting for a driver. Spa is very long and very difficult technically so you need a good car. I have that this year, so I hope I can get the result we are all looking for."
The complexities of the Spa circuit make it a favourite for the engineers as well as the drivers, as Jordan Grand Prix's Chief Engineer Tim Holloway explains. "This circuit has so much history, and from an engineering point of view it is the most enjoyable weekend of the year because the track is so fantastic. We run medium to low downforce but the challenge is to find the right balance to cope with the quick corners. Last year we performed well in both the wet and dry in Spa. We are hopeful for a strong performance from both drivers."
Holloway added, " In testing at Silverstone this week we focused on Bridgestone tyre developments as well as looking into aerodynamic set ups for Spa. We had a successful week and I feel we should be up at the top end of the grid. We seem to have made good progress and we have had good luck in Belgium thus far and I hope we can see Heinz and Jarno competing at the top end of the field."