BF3

Pembrey practice and qualifying

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Autosport British F3 Championship 1998 Rounds 11 & 12, Pembrey, August 15th/16th by Stella Thomas Changes: Martin O'Connell is running with Rowan Racing now (using his own car and most of the TOM'S personnel). Adam Wilcox has joined ...

Autosport British F3 Championship 1998 Rounds 11 & 12, Pembrey, August 15th/16th by Stella Thomas

Changes:

Martin O'Connell is running with Rowan Racing now (using his own car and most of the TOM'S personnel).

Adam Wilcox has joined Intersport (with Nick Jordan acting as his engineer, at least on a temporary basis)

Paula Cook has joined Portman Arrows and is now running number 22.

Carlin Motorsport have appeared running Narain Karthikeyan and Lei Kit Meng.

Mark Boost has joined Speedsport while Darren Manning has gone off to race in Japan.

Qualifying - Race 1:

The first session was relatively well-behaved, not always the case at Pembrey. This may have been due in part to the fact that the front-runners mostly loitered in the pit lane at the start of the session, waiting for the others to clean the track for them. Certainly the first fifteen minutes of the session saw more activity off the track than on it. At Portman Arrows a pair of Renault technicians were peering at the inside of Paula Cook's Renault engine. Their diagnosis was not good and the result was that the Yorkshirewoman didn't get a single lap during the session. A new engine was needed really but the ECU-mapping could not be completed in the available time and so they would settle for actually getting the thing to run.

At Carlin, newcomer to F3 Lei Kit Meng was not having a particularly happy time either, finding it very difficult to keep the engine alive. It was a problem that would afflict him in the first race of the weekend too. With such sensitive clutches, getting to grips with F3 is never easy and the man from Macau was finding this out the hard way.

His team mate, on the other hand, was proving something of a sensation. In the past, Narain Karthikeyan has been intermittently fast, but the lay-off while he looked for funds, and the change of team, has revitalised the youngster from Madras. He did exceptionally well to qualify on the second row, ahead of the likes of Warren Hughes and Luciano Burti, both old hands at this game now. Mario Haberfeld, meanwhile, grabbed pole to the displeasure of title leader Enrique Bernoldi.

Of the others, Martin O'Connell was having a fairly torrid time of it, not getting anything set up to his liking. His shot at the championship seems to have evaporated along with TOM'S GB and all he could do was soldier on and hope for the best.

Qualifying Times - Race 1:

1st No. 2 Mario Haberfeld, Paul Stewart Racing, F398 Mugen Honda 0:50.287 2nd No. 5 Enrique Bernoldi, Promatecme, F398 Renault 0:50.560 3rd No. 12 Narain Karthikeyan, Carlin Motorsport, F398 Mugen Honda 0:50.891 4th No. 21 Warren Hughes, Portman Arrows Racing, F398 Renault 0:50.926 5th No. 1 Luciano Burti, Paul Stewart Racing, F398 Mugen Honda 0:51.008 6th No. 4 Kristian Kolby, Fortec Motorsport, F398 Mugen Honda 0:51.104 7th No. 27 Ben Collins, Intersport, F398 Spiess Opel 0:51.199 8th No. 14 Jamie Spence, Martin Donnelly Racing, F398 Mugen Honda 0:51.230 9th No. 16 Martin O'Connell, TOM'S GB, F398 TOM'S Toyota 0:51.233 10th No. 7 Ricardo Mauricio, Alan Docking Racing, F398 Mugen Honda 0:51.298 11th No. 6 Marc Hynes, Promatecme, F398 Renault 0:51.330 12th No. 8 Yudai Igarashi, Alan Docking Racing, F398 Mugen Honda 0:51.399 13th No. 9 Michael Bentwood, Speedsport, F398 Mugen Honda 0:51.463 14th No. 20 Tim Spouge, S. S. Sport, F398 Mugen Honda 0:51.493 15th No. 3 Andrej Pavicevic, Fortec Motorsport, F398 Mugen Honda 0:51.668 16th No. 42 Adam Wilcox, Intersport, F398 Spiess Opel 0:51.898 17th No. 10 Mark Boost, GB, Speedsport, F398 Mugen Honda 0:51.942 18th No. 52 Phillip Scifleet, Rowan Racing, F396 TOM'S Toyota 0:52.022 (National Class Pole) 19th No. 17 Warren Carway, Rowan Racing, F398 TOM'S Toyota 0:52.316 20th No. 15 Lei Kit Meng, Macau, Carlin Motorsport, F398 Mugen Honda 0:53.023 21st No. 77 John Ingram, Speedsport, F396 HKS Mitsubishi 0:53.672 22nd No. 53 Steve Hayr, Tarry Falcon Racing, F396 Mugen Honda 0:54.939

No time: No. 22 Paula Cook, Portman Arrows Racing, F398 Spiess Opel

Qualifying - Race 2:

The second session was badly disrupted in comparison, with a stoppage five minutes before the end. Even so, it is hard to imagine it would have made a lot of difference to the grid order. The Brazilian's were determined to be together this time round (perhaps Pembrey being so close to the beach had inspired the) although this time it was Burti who grabbed pole. Bernoldi was again on the front row, needing to finish well up in the points to hold onto his lead, which was looking increasing threatened. Haberfeld having taking the first pole, seemed content with 3rd, just ahead of Hughes who had managed to get the jump on the upstart youngster Karthikeyan this time round. If Martin O'Connell had been unhappy in the morning, things were worse in the afternoon. He could only manage 12th and was not at all happy with his lot.

Meanwhile, in both session Phillip Scifleet was on pole for the National class, needing only a second place finish to put the title out of reach of anyone else once and for all. His mother, Roslyn, had even flown over from Australia to see him try to claim the title.

Qualifying Times - Race 2:

1st No. 1 Luciano Burti, Paul Stewart Racing, F398 Mugen Honda 0:50.727 2nd No. 5 Enrique Bernoldi, Promatecme, F398 Renault 0:50.763 3rd No. 2 Mario Haberfeld, Paul Stewart Racing, F398 Mugen Honda 0:50.819 4th No. 21 Warren Hughes, Portman Arrows Racing, F398 Renault 0:50.861 5th No. 12 Narain Karthikeyan, Carlin Motorsport, F398 Mugen Honda 0:51.169 6th No. 7 Ricardo Mauricio, Alan Docking Racing, F398 Mugen Honda 0:51.180 7th No. 6 Marc Hynes, Promatecme, F398 Renault 0:51.241 8th No. 4 Kristian Kolby, Fortec Motorsport, F398 Mugen Honda 0:51.250 9th No. 27 Ben Collins, Intersport, F398 Spiess Opel 0:51.267 10th No. 3 Andrej Pavicevic, Fortec Motorsport, F398 Mugen Honda 0:51.294 11th No. 14 Jamie Spence, Martin Donnelly Racing, F398 Mugen Honda 0:51.395 12th No. 16 Martin O'Connell, TOM'S GB, F398 TOM'S Toyota 0:51.451 13th No. 9 Michael Bentwood, Speedsport, F398 Mugen Honda 0:51.602 14th No. 10 Mark Boost, Speedsport, F398 Mugen Honda 0:51.654 15th No. 8 Yudai Igarashi, Alan Docking Racing, F398 Mugen Honda 0:51.654 16th No. 42 Adam Wilcox, Intersport, F398 Spiess Opel 0:51.730 17th No. 20 Tim Spouge, S. S. Sport, F398 Mugen Honda 0:51.771 18th No. 22 Paula Cook, Portman Arrows Racing, F398 Spiess Opel 0:51.789 19th No. 52 Phillip Scifleet, Rowan Racing, F396 TOM'S Toyota 0:52.004 (National Class Pole) 20th No. 17 Warren Carway, Rowan Racing, F398 TOM'S Toyota 0:52.336 21st No. 15 Lei Kit Meng, Carlin Motorsport, F398 Mugen Honda 0:53.213 22nd No. 53 Steve Hayr, Tarry Falcon Racing, F396 Mugen Honda 0:54.355

No time: No. 77 John Ingram, F396 HKS Mitsubishi

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