From a very young age, Jordan was fascinated by cars and indeed by anything with an engine. Very quickly, his parents realised that this wasn't just a passing fad and that one way to satisfy his love of speed would be to arrange for him to go karting. Unsurprisingly, it was love at first sight. Jordan immediately felt at home at the wheel of a kart and his laptimes dropped quickly. Once he reached college and had more free time, an occasional hobby became a regular one. Every Friday afternoon he was at the track, completing lap after lap, chasing those last few tenths. When the Mexy Kart Circuit organised driver training courses, guess who was one of the first to enrol! Karting had become a set part of his weekly routine. With the help of his instructors, he went faster and faster. And then, one day, a revolutionary new video game appeared: Gran Turismo.
Alongside karting, Jordan had found a new pastime. Now he was no longer driving go-karts, but the world's most beautiful GT cars – virtual versions at least. Almost immediately his competitive spirit came to the fore. He started by taking part in the GT Cup, a competition between teams made up of European players. First time out he won the title in a difficult final race on the legendary Nordschleife, by far his favourite circuit. His engineering studies (automobile engineering of course!) forced him to cut down on his gaming for a while, at least until the introduction of GT Academy, organised jointly by Sony and Nissan, a computer-based competition which offered the players the chance to become real racing drivers. In the first year, Jordan qualified for the French final, finishing fifth. However, only the first three players qualified for the next stage. In 2010, he grabbed his chance with both hands! After winning the French final, he flew to Silverstone to take on the best European players. He emerged as the joint winner, along with an Italian, Luca Lorenzini. They would be pitted against one another at the wheel of two Nissans, real ones this time, and only one of them would win the top prize, a year driving the new Nissan 370 Z GT4, in the European championship.
Debut on the Track
Sharing a house near Oxford, the Frenchman and the Italian became firm friends and, although rivals, loved every minute of their battles on circuits all over England at the wheel of the specially prepared Nissan 370Zs. After two months' competition, Bob Neville, the manager of RJN Motorsport, the team running the Nissans, chose Jordan. The dream thus became reality and the gamer became a driver. Jordan found himself thrust into the world of competitive motorsport on his 22nd birthday. After getting used to the car and learning how the slick tyres worked, he quickly began to match the times of his teammate, Alex Buncombe. At the fifth round, in Portimao in southern Portugal, Jordan found himself driving alone, as Alex had a clashing commitment at another event. He took the chance to demonstrate his skills, qualifying brilliantly on the front row and then finishing third, his first podium. At the end of the year, in Magny-Cours, the pair finished second and Jordan's laptimes were only five-tenths slower than those of his teammate, whose reputation as a fast driver was well established. The season ended with Jordan fourth in the overall drivers' championship.
Proving his ability
Nissan was delighted with Jordan's performances and they offered him the chance to continue for another season, with the same team but in a new championship, the Blancpain Endurance Series, the highpoint of which was a legendary race: the Spa 24 Hours! Although he was in his last year at ESTACA and completing a traineeship as a race engineer in a racing team, Jordan found the time to combine his two passions. The rounds of the championship in which he took part, run over three hours, were real sprints for each three-driver team. Jordan and Alex were joined by Chris, the chief driving instructor at the Silverstone circuit. Despite some mechanical problems, the team started the championship well, with a fourth place on the ultra-fast Monza circuit and then a second place in Navarra, Spain. Maintaining their steady improvement, the trio then led the race and won a prestigious victory in the Belgian Ardennes!
To Be Continued…