The Jordan Formula: Interview with Jordan Dempsey
If I said the name 'Jordan' you would probably familiarise the name with Eddie's famous F1 team of the 90's. The team that were a true underdog and sometimes even a giant killer among the best of them, and a legend in Irish motorsport. Now however, there's another amazing reason why the name is once again becoming relevant. I'm talking about racer Jordan Dempsey, one of many amazing Irish talents rising through the ranks at the moment. A champion of the Irish Ginetta Junior championship, and more recently the Chinese Formula 4 championship last year, I caught up with Jordan to get his views on a very impressive career so far.
1. How did you get interested in Motor Racing?
I’ve been crazy about motor racing for as long as I can remember! I have always been around racing tracks since I was a newborn going to Mondello Park to go and watch my Dad race in Formula Opel Lotus at the time, so I guess it was then that my family started to create the monster that I am today! I can vividly remember sitting on Dads mechanics lap while Dad drove us around Mondello for a few laps in his RT2000 Dunlop Supercar, he only raced these up until 2002 so hence I would only have been maybe 2 years old at the time! Needless to say, my mother wasn’t too happy with that!
2. Is the Ginetta Junior championship a good starting point for young drivers?
The Ginetta Junior Ireland class is just fantastic! I couldn’t recommend it enough, the cars are all really fun to drive, the racing is always very close fought and there is no politics and very little money involved either! I miss it really. We still run cars in it with our Motorsport Car Preparations team and since I won it we have won it a further two times since then! Any chance I get to hop in and take one of these cars for a spin I grab with both hands, the threaded tyres means you really have to fling the car around the place to get a lap time out of them and I enjoy that! That’s also the reason why whoever wins in Ginetta Junior Ireland goes on to do great things because you learn how to control a car here and use it for the rest of your career! We’re doing a sampler day in Mondello on the 6th of December for the class where I will be bringing possible drivers around the track and then letting them have a go at driving it for a few laps to see if they like it!
3. What’s the most favourite circuit you’ve raced on or drove so far?
That’s a very tough question! I’ve raced on a lot of great tracks like Suzuka, Shanghai, Zandvoort, Brands Hatch, Silverstone, Sepang, Donnington, etc. It’s so hard to pick a favorite because they all have their unique qualities. Suzuka is a really ballsy track where you go around knowing if you make a small mistake you’re in a wall hard! Brands you have Paddock Hill bend which never fails to put a smile on your face when you have an armful of opposite lock on going down the compression! Donnington has a really nice flow to it where you always have to carry speed and momentum which is a strength of mine hence I always go well there. If I was to single one out as a favorite though it would have to be Suzuka. For one thing there is the history of the place. I am a huge Ayrton Senna fan so all of the championships that he won and lost there comes to mind! I am an adrenaline junky, so that feeling of knowing that you’re playing with fire when you’re on your one qualifying lap on maximum attack, using every bit of road on the track and more is immense, so to get a podium there was really quite special!
4. How competitive of a series is the Formula Ford 1600 series in the UK?
Formula Fords is always ludicrously competitive! To win there you need a great package! You always have to have the best driver, the best engine and the best car. That’s why I always come back, you’re always almost guaranteed close racing with a train of probably 10-12 cars all on each other’s gearbox! I was fortunate to have a great engine from MCP and a great car from Kevin Mills Racing to help propel me to a great win at the biggest race in Formula Ford, the Walter Hayes Trophy last month!
Check out Dempsey storming to victory at Castle Combe in Formula Ford in 2017 below!
5. What are your ambitions going forward?
My ambition is to go back to the States for next year. I know exactly what I want to do there and who I want to do it with, I just need to find the rest of the funding to help pay for it! We’re probably 1/3rd of the way there already but need to come up with that last bit which is proving very difficult unfortunately at this moment in time! It’s going to be a full on couple of months trying to find it but it’s running late in the year now so I would be lying to say that I wasn’t worried! It’s just a part of this sport though unfortunately, it’s not how good you are on the track it’s how good you are off of it!
My goal is to be the first Irish Indy 500 winner or champion or both! I have every confidence that I will be able to do it, I have the right people around me to get me there and I know I’m Ireland’s best hope of achieving that, it’s only a matter of getting on the track!
I want to say a massive thanks to Jordan for his amazing answers and wish him every success for the future. Want more Dempsey action? check out his podium drive in Shanghai this year in the Asian F3 championship below!