Minassian & Kane win at Pembrey

Frenchman Nicolas Minassian and Ulster's Jonny Kane scored a win apiece in the 12th and 13th rounds of the British Formula 3 Championship at Pembrey on September 1. The first race was a controversial affair which saw Kane and Minassian clash along the pit straight before Minassian went on to score his maiden victory. The second race was tame by comparison, with Kane dominating from pole position and winning by a huge margin.

Kane started the first race from pole position also, but a flying getaway from the second row saw Minassian squeeze between Kane and Belgium's Burt Mollekens to snatch the lead. Kane managed to keep the Renault-powered car of the Frenchman in his sights and, with three laps remaining, Kane made his move. The two cars touched on the pit straight as Minassian moved to block the Ulsterman but both were able to continue.

It was a successful defence by Minassian, who became the eighth different 1996 winner and collected Renault's first F3 win in Britain.

In the second race, Kane built up a huge lead in the early stages. Jamie Davies fought hard to catch him but was nine seconds adrift at the flag. Third place fell to Argentina's Brian Smith.

Ralph Firman saw his title chances take an upward turn as none of his chief rivals was able to capitalise on his lack of form. Although Firman collected just eight points from the two races, his lead of 40 points is starting to look comfortable with three races remaining.


Round 12

1  Nicolas Minassian    Dallara-Renault         17m 36.61s      99.21mph
2  Jonny Kane           Dallara-Mugen           +0.59s;
3  Kurt Mollekens       Dallara-Mugen           +1.61s;
4  Juan-Pablo Montoya   Dallara-Mitsubishi      +2.37s;
5  Jamie Davies         Dallara-GM              +3.65s;
6  Brian Smith          TOM'S-Toyota            +4.58s.

Round 13

1  Jonny Kane           Dallara-Mugen           17m 26.29s   100.19mph
2  Jamie Davies         Dallara-TWR             +9.05s;
3  Brian Smith          TOM'S-Toyota            +11.33s;
4  Darren Manning       Dallara-Mugen           +15.69s;
5  Ralph Firman         Dallara-Mugen           +17.19s;
6  Juan-Pablo Montoya   Dallara-Mitsubishi      +17.60s.

-- Best in British Motor Sport http://www.demon.co.uk/racing