Championship leaders steal a march

Petrobras Jr's Bruno Junqueira moved to the head of the F3000 championship standings after Saturday's race, the third round of the series, after what team owner David Sears called "a stylish drive"

Championship leaders steal a march

However, Super Nova's Nicolas Minassian shows no signs of surrendering his place near the top of the table, and is a mere two points behind Junqueira. The Brazilian won the race, with Minassian second, after qualifying fifth.

Junqueira found himself boxed in by David Saelens in the first part of the race, but passed the Belgian on lap 30 in an opportunistic move when the Super Nova driver was challenging Enrique Bernoldi for the lead.

"I found it very difficult to overtake David Saelens as I lost downforce on the high speed corners," said Junqueira. "But when I saw him start to push Bernoldi I saw that I had a possibility during the race"

"He drove very intelligently and waited for the right opportunity," said Paul Jackson, manager of Junqueira's Petrobras Jr team.

"When he made his move it was decisive and he took the lead and confidently pulled away to win."

Minassian, the round one winner, did not have the best start to his weekend, qualifying lower down than he felt the car was capable of because of a large shunt in qualifying. However, the Frenchman kept his head in a race where many lost theirs, to stay within reach of Junqueira in the points.

"The weekend started a little dodgy," said Minassian. "The important thing is to say thank you to the mechanics and everyone in the team who put a good car together for me today."

David Sears runs Minassian's Super Nova team, for which Petrobras Jr is a satellite squad. Naturally, he was delighted with the result.

"Both drivers (Minassian and Saelens) used their brains to good effect and Nicolas finished second which is incredible after his major accident yesterday."

The next round of the series is at the Nurburgring in two weeks.

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