Gary Anderson was technical director at Jordan when Brian Hart supplied his 3.5-liter V10 engine to the team from 1993-’94. He paid tribute the late engine man, who passed away Sunday.
After a difficult campaign in 1993, the Jordan-Hart partnership hit form in 1994 with Rubens Barrichello claiming third place in the Pacific Grand Prix, several other fourth places, and pole position at Spa.
Jordan-Hart went on to finish fifth in the constructors’ championship, with Barrichello, Eddie Irvine and Andrea de Cesaris claiming a combined total of 10 points finishes.
“There was nothing in the world as satisfying for Brian Hart and myself as taking on the big boys who had 10 times the budget and showing them up on Sunday afternoon!,” declared Anderson. “He was an ex-racing driver, which was a huge advantage for him on the engineering side and meant that he was a racer at heart. This was part of what made him so rewarding to work with.
“When we started to work together ahead of the 1993 season, when Jordan did the deal to run Hart engines in place of Yamaha, he was so easy to deal with. In a five-minute phone call you could both speak the same language and then he would go off and do his best. It was such an easy relationship with someone who understood motor racing.
“Our move to Peugeot engines in 1995 after working with Brian was a nightmare, by contrast. With them, the five-minute phone calls turned into ones lasting two weeks.
“That first year in 1993 was probably a little too early for the engine even though it was ready to run in late 1992. It just wasn’t particularly developed. That first season was a survival and development year, but the engine functioned well and we scored points with fifth and sixth place in the Japanese Grand Prix with Rubens Barrichello and Eddie Irvine.
“By 1994, operating on a very small budget, Brian had the engine to the level that he wanted it to be for a proper first year and we had a very good understanding of the car with two good drivers. The results were good, with a podium in the Pacific GP and regular top-six finishes. It didn’t matter so much where we finished, as long as there were a few of the big boys behind us to show up!
“Gut feeling and experience still counts for a lot in this sport and that’s what allowed Brian to achieve what he did without a lot of money. He knew what he needed to achieve and how to go about achieving it.
“He was a true friend to me and a real pleasure to work with thanks to his pure racing instinct and no-nonsense approach.”