Jordan Grand Prix and Ford have joined forces with Zip Kart to support the creation of an exciting new initiative within the Zip Formula series in 2003.

The Junior Jordan Ford Cup is a new championship to run at the first five rounds of the Formula Zip Championship.

The series will be open to competitors between 16 and 21 years old and for ?10,000 each driver will benefit from five full official test days along with five rounds of the Zip Formula Championship. Each of the first five events is held at separate circuits - Mallory Park, Castle Combe, Snetterton, Brands Hatch and Oulton Park.

It is the first time a Formula One team has become directly involved with a national championship outside of the grand prix world. "Both Jordan and Ford believe it is important to put something back into motorsport at this level," said Zip Formula boss, Martin Hines. "The fact they are both in a position to support this scheme is fantastic news for young drivers."

The winner of the five-round Junior Jordan Ford Cup will be given a ?10,000 voucher towards their racing budget for the remainder of the season, together with lunch at the Jordan factory with Eddie Jordan and a tour of the F1 facility at Silverstone.

Each car taking part in the series will be carry distinctive Jordan livery as well as a Jordan badge on each driver's overalls and a visor strip on their helmets.

Each event will be filmed for TV and featured in the UK on dedicated 30-minute programmes on Sky Sports during the season.

Zip Formula Championship calendar:

April 21 Mallory Park (incorporating Junior Jordan Ford Cup)May 5 Castle Combe (incorporating Junior Jordan Ford Cup)May 17-18 Snetterton (incorporating Junior Jordan Ford Cup)June 7 Oulton Park (incorporating Junior Jordan Ford Cup)July 12-13 Brands Hatch (incorporating Junior Jordan Ford Cup)August 2-3 Snetterton (double-header)September 6-7 Brands Hatch (double-header)October 6-7 Rockingham October 17-28 Brands Hatch (Formula Ford Festival/double-header)