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Motor racing: FIRMAN SET TO CLINCH JORDAN DRIVE.



Byline: IAN GORDON Ian Gordon (born May 15, 1975 in North Battleford, Saskatchewan) is a Canadian ice hockey goaltender who currently plays for the Frankfurt Lions of the Deutsche Eishockey League.  

BRITAIN'S Ralph Firman Ralph David Firman Jr. (born May 20 1975 in Norwich, Norfolk) is a racing driver from the United Kingdom, who now races under Irish citizenship (his mother Angela is Irish) and an Irish-issued racing licence. Earlier in his career he raced under a British licence.  will fill the last remaining slot on the Formula One grid with Jordan next season.

The 27-year-old is set to be confirmed by the Silverstone-based outfit today, following a meeting with team chief Eddie Jordan.

Firman Fir´man

n. 1. In Turkey and some other Oriental countries, a decree or mandate issued by the sovereign; a royal order or grant; - generally given for special objects, as to a traveler to insure him protection and assistance.
 will become the fourth Briton on the grid in 2003 joining David Coulthard, Jenson Button and fellow rookie Justin Wilson .

The Norwich-born racer has won the race to partner Italy's Giancarlo Fisichelllaahead of Felipe Massa, who drove for Sauber last year.

Brazilian Mass a had long been considered the favourite even by Firman, who returned to Japan a fortnight ago to begin preparations for the defence of his Formula Nippon title.

But it appears the pounds 3million funding Mass a thought he had from Ford of Brazil and his country's fuel giant, Petrobras, has not materialised. It is not clear if Firman, who returned to London last Saturday, will also be able to bring with him the necessary sponsorship.

But Jordan has been boosted recently by an extra pounds 10m in television revenue following moves by rival F1 bosses to ensure his team and Minardi can complete the season.

And it is understood that Jordan were anyway impressed by Firman's track record as a driver to hand him his F1 chance.

CAPTION(S):

MEETING: Jordan
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Feb 4, 2003
Words:217
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