Newark-based JORDAN Road Surfacing, title sponsors of the BTRDA Rally Series, was set up by Barry Jordan – or ‘Baz’ as he’s universally known! – more than 25 years ago. Having worked in the industry since he left school, he now lists amongst his clients a number of blue-chip companies, including several well-known supermarkets, plus the likes of Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire County Councils. ‘As a service provider, we’re a one-stop shop,’ says Baz. Everything, apart from the tarmac, required for their contracts is available in-house and Jordan Road Surfacing’s slogan ‘Working with you – not for you’ obviously strikes a chord that, along with Baz’ dogged determination and hard work, has seen the company evolve into the success it is today.
As a self-confessed ‘petrol-head’, it was Baz’ involvement in rallying that culminated in the JORDAN Road Surfacing sponsorship of the BTRDA Rally Series which features seven of the best forest rallies that England & Wales have to offer. Baz’ love of motorsport, both on two wheels and four, dates back to his teens – indeed, this allied to a particular affinity with Ford Escorts, led to his first rally car arriving as a result of a part-exchange deal when he was 18. His initial foray into the world of competition occurred not far from home on a ‘single-venue’ event held at the former RAF base at Fulbeck in 1985. We’re not privy to how he fared but it was the beginning of an active love affair with the sport that is as big now – if not more so – than it was then!
In the past 30+ years, any number of Escorts have passed through Baz’ hands, not to mention examples of each of the ten different Mitsubishi Lancer EVOs and a Subaru Impreza formerly driven by Juha Kankkunen, the 1991/93 World Rally Champion. None has spent more than twelve months, or so, in the Jordan stable before being moved on but, when a deal for a Ford Focus World Rally Car fell through, it prompted the purchase of an ‘Historic’ specification Hillman Avenger. Not possessing a particularly illustrious pedigree in terms of competition, no great hopes were attached to its arrival but, four years and 68 rallies later, it’s still there!
Baz Jordan and Paul Wakely on their way to another class win in their Hillman Avenger
Photos © Kevin Money
‘We’ve had such a laugh,” says Baz, ‘and it’s been great fun developing it’. A 100% finishing record on all seven rounds of the 2017 BTRDA Rally Series – no mean feat in itself – saw the Avenger finish 3rd overall in the two-wheel drive category, only beaten by a couple of far more powerful Ford Escorts. This year Baz and co-driver Paul Wakely, from West Wales, have concentrated on the Historic section of the Series, winning their class by a country mile and finishing runners-up in the category overall – and the smiles are still evident!
Running a company the size of JORDAN Road Surfacing is a 24/7 operation that requires a huge commitment and, although acutely aware that he’s in a privileged position which allows him to indulge in his passion (notwithstanding the fact that it’s Baz who has engineered that situation!), he regards rallying as free time. ‘When you’re travelling flat out through the forests, absolute concentration is required – you can’t be thinking about anything else.’ So then, and only then, does work take a back seat…
As a family man, there’s also a balance to be struck, but Baz thinks nothing of getting up at 5.00am on a Sunday morning, going and checking on a couple of jobs and being back home in plenty of time to take his wife out. Perhaps, in addition to all the other attributes required to maintain such a busy and successful life, ‘Juggler’ should also be added to Baz’ CV!…..