If any of the British-based teams is qualified to call Silverstone 'home', it is Jordan, which is based right across the Buckingham Road, opposite the circuit gates.

While the British Grand Prix has not always been kind to Eddie Jordan's team, it has never lacked support from a loyal crowd that appreciates the fun that the genial Irishman puts into an often up-tight sport - and EJ himself would not miss the trip across the road each summer.

"This is the 30th year in a row that I have been to the British Grand Prix - either as a fan, a driver, or with a team - and it still excites me," he admits, "It's great, for a change, to be able to stay at home rather than everybody travelling away to race - and it's holiday time in Ireland, so we get a lot of our fans over, which is just wonderful.

"It's also nice for local people here at Silverstone, who I feel I've been a part of for a long time. Most importantly though, it's good to welcome the Jordan staff and their families, who we are particularly proud about, as there is huge pressure on everyone working in F1 these days. This is a hard week for those who are working, but it's also fantastic fun.

Although it has picked up points in Monaco and Canada, 2004 continues to be a struggle for the team, even if it currently had more on the board than better-heeled rival Jaguar. The 'home' race this weekend could play into Jordan's hands, however, as the EJ14 has often proved surprisingly fleet in wet conditions. Well, it is Britain, after all.

"It's great to be back at our home grand prix and a track that we test at quite regularly," explained head of engineering James Robinson, "Off the back of the very successful London parade this week, we are excited about motorsport in Britain and entertaining the fans with a good race. We get great support from the home crowd and it's also great that our factory and testing staff, who work very hard without experiencing the excitement of racing the cars, get the chance to see their cars close-up and driven in anger at this grand prix.

"It's a high-speed, high-grip circuit. We have been working with Bridgestone over the last few months to develop a tyre for the track, and we are very happy with the decision on tyres for this weekend. The forecast is for typical English weather, very changeable over the weekend with some rain around so, hopefully, we can show what the Bridgestone wet tyres can do as well."

Lead driver Nick Heidfeld is also looking forward to coming to Silverstone, where he has enjoyed races in the past.

"It's like a home grand prix for me," the German explains, "I always enjoy coming to England and doing the grand prix here because the spectators here are really great, they seem to have good knowledge about the sport and cheer everybody on.

"I like the circuit too, as it's one of the few with very high speed corners - especially Becketts. It's very challenging through there, so I'm looking forward to that and I hope it will suit our race car. We test here more than at other circuits, which may help us find a good set-up."

Rookie team-mate Giorgio Pantano knows his way around Silverstone, having raced there on numerous occasions during his drawn-out F3000 career.

"The team is like my family and this is the team's home, so it's my second home," the Italian reasons, "Since I joined Jordan, I have been spending a lot of time here and almost feel like an adopted Brit! It's quite exciting knowing there will be lots of Jordan fans at the race, and I think we can do a good job here because it's our home event and we test here quite often. I finished second here in F3000 and it's one of my favourite circuits, so I will be giving my all as usual."

Despite only joining the line-up to conduct Friday morning testing this season, reserve driver Timo Glock has quickly grasped the meaning of 'home' for the Jordan operation.

"Silverstone circuit is so close to the Jordan factory that we could almost drive the cars straight out of the doors and over to the track!" he smiles, "Giorgio and I went to the London parade this week and had a really good time, so we know that the British fans are great.

"I know the circuit as we have done good tests at Silverstone both in the wet and the dry, so we can get straight into the programme. If it rains and we have a crazy race, Nick and Giorgio have the chance for really good results."

Glock, who added two marks to Jordan's score on his one-and-only outing in Canada this year, has also quickly picked up on the team's rapport with its fans.

"It will be fun for me this weekend because the team has so many activities here this weekend," he adds, "I have time on Saturday and Sunday to visit the Jordan fan village at the factory and, knowing the team, once I've finished my driving duties, they'll probably get me working behind the bar or something!"

True to form, Jordan will make use of its proximity to Silverstone to put on entertainment for fans visiting the grand prix, after an immensely popular 'Jordan Village' debut last year was visited by up to 800 fans a day. The 2004 'Jordan Experience' will see marquees housing an array of activities, while a giant screen will show the race for those unlucky enough not to have tickets. Eddie Jordan and all three drivers will make appearances to meet fans.

"We are opening up a whole campus of activity for fans in the grounds of our factory, and I am thinking of getting my drum kit out one evening when they've got a live band on!" the Irishman confirmed.

Jordan also confirmed that the 'original' B&H pit babes - Melinda Messenger, Emma Noble and Katie Price (aka Jordan) - would be reunited this weekend, this time as guests of chief sponsor Benson & Hedges. The girls have all made successful careers in modelling and TV, having first found fame in the 1990s, were exceptionally
popular in the pit-lane as they posed with the Jordan car and drivers Damon Hill and Ralf Schumacher in 1998.

This weekend, the 'Message from Bahrain' adorning the engine covers of all three EJ14s is the emblem of Save the Children. The UK's leading international children's charity admits it is delighted to be the chosen charity for the weekend, and will profile humanitarian issues at the British Grand Prix.