DECEMBER 18, 1995
Collard to join Jordan
Collard is one of the most experienced test drivers in F1 having completed many thousands of miles with Williams, Benetton, Ligier, Tyrrell and now Jordan.
A prot?g? of the Elf oil company, Collard has been racing since he was 11 years old. He won the World Karting Championship in 1988 and the following year raced in French Formula Renault under a special dispensation, because he was too young to hold a driving license. In his first year in car racing he finished second to Olivier Panis in the highly competitive championship and went on to win the following season. That year he was also appointed a Ligier test driver - at the age of 19! He progressed to French F3 and then to F3000, showing promise but never translating that into results. Elf kept the faith and supported his test drives with Benetton and Williams. He had talks with Larrousse, Pacific and Tyrrell - and even tested for Tyrrell last winter. In recent months he has also been testing for Ligier again.
The Jordan announcement is a significant step for Collard in that he has clearly split from Elf for the first time in his career, Jordan being backed by Total, a rival oil company to Elf.