OCTOBER 2, 1995
And Brundle goes to Jordan
Brundle was thought to be staying at Ligier, which is run by his pal and mentor Tom Walkinshaw. Walkinshaw, however, could not match Jordan's offer and so Brundle had to bid farewell to the man who has played such a key role in his career.
The pair go back to 1979 when Brundle drove in the Walkinshaw-organized BMW County Challenge series before being hired, as team mate to Stirling Moss, in the BP-sponsored Audi team in the British Touring Car Championship. Martin then moved into the British F3 Championship and raced with Eddie Jordan in 1983, winning six races and finishing second to Ayrton Senna. He also drove for TWR in Jaguars touring cars before embarking on his F1 career.
In 1988, he left F1 to drive TWR Jaguars and won the World Spostcar Championship and the Daytona 24 Hours before returning to F1 in 1989. The following year he won Le Mans in a TWR Jaguar and then went to Benetton in 1992 when Walkinshaw became involved there.
The deal makes perfect sense for Brundle, but it is hard to know why Jordan decided on Brundle. He is well-connected at Peugeot, having raced McLaren-Peugeots last year, but with race winner Johnny Herbert on the market the Brundle deal came as a big surprise. Once again the involvement of Bernie Ecclestone, who was looking after Brundle's interests following the hospitalization of Martin's manager Mike Greasley, is a sensible explanation.
There were rumors at the Nurburgring that Martin may not race for Ligier again this year, his place being taken in the final races by Dutchman Jos Verstappen, a possible Ligier driver for 1996.