Jordan Ford is pleased to announce that Ralph Firman will race with the team in 2003 alongside Giancarlo Fisichella. The 27 year old has signed a three year agreement and will make his Formula One debut in the Australian Grand Prix on March 9th.
Firman enters Formula One as the reigning 2002 Formula Nippon Champion, having previously won the prestigious British Formula 3 Championship and FIA Formula 3 World Cup in Macau in 1996. A Champion kart racer, Firman is also a former winner of the McLaren Autosport Young Driver of the Award.
After an initial seat-fitting in the Jordan Ford EJ13 at the team's Silverstone base yesterday, Firman is preparing for his first test with the team to be held in Valencia, Spain, next week.
Eddie Jordan, Chief Executive of Jordan Grand Prix said, “He may be a rookie in F1 terms but Ralph brings a lot of racing experience and a formidable track record along with his enthusiasm and commitment. I'm impressed with his very cool and disciplined approach and I have a lot of confidence that he and Fisichella will be an awesome partnership on the track. The news that Ralph has joined us, allied to other important developments, means that Jordan Ford is a force to be reckoned with in 2003, and I can't wait for the season to start.”
Ralph Firman commented, “I am thrilled to have this chance to race in Formula One especially as it is with Jordan, one of the few teams to have won Grands Prix in recent years. It's also a team that has brought many notable names into Formula One and I can see that it's an extremely friendly and professional operation. Although this will be my first season, I have worked hard to build up my experience whilst racing in Japan, so although F1 will be something new I feel ready and quite comfortable with it. I am really looking forward to going to Melbourne next month.”
Ralph Firman was born on 20th May 1975 and holds dual nationality, with a British father and Irish mother, and lives in Norfolk, United Kingdom. His father, Ralph Firman Sr, was a mechanic for former triple World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi before founding the famous Van Diemen racing car business whose chassis have been raced in the junior formulae by many of today's top drivers.