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 MEXICAN F3000 - 1996

Derek Higgins and Mario Dominguez, round 4 - Mexico City.

The inaugural Mexican Formula 3000 championship, a four race series, was won by Jaime Cordero, although the title battle went down to the last lap of the final race. All cars Lola T96/70-Chrysler V6.

Race results (and reports where available)

Round 1, Monterrey (MEX), 29 September 1996

Mexican driver Rafael Martinez won the opening round of the new Mexican Formula 3000 series - for Chrysler-V6 engined Lola F3000 chassis - at Monterrey. Polesitter Jimmy Morales led from reigning Mexican Formula 3 champion Derek Higgins. However, an electrical fault sidelined him and Higgins was able to pull away. With four laps to go, Rafael Martinez caught and passed Higgins as the British driver was slowed by an engine that was losing power. And this was to deprive Higgins of second place, too, with team mate Carlos Guerrero demoting him on the following lap. Ruben Garcia Novoa finished in fourth place despite an overheating engine, followed by Jaime Cordero, and teammate Mario Dominguez. Former British Class B F3 champion Fernando Plata dropped out with battery problems.

(Report by Rosa Elena Torres taken from Autosport)

Round 1, Monterrey (MEX), 29 September 1996, 35 laps - 69.58 miles

Pos.

Driver

Time

1

Rafael Martinez (MEX)

45:19.58, 92.11mph

2

Carlos Guerrero (MEX)

45:22.89

3

Derek Higgins (IRL)

45:34.68

4

Ruben Garcia Novoa (MEX)

45:52.03

5

Jaime Cordero (MEX)

34 laps

6

Mario Dominguez (MEX)

34 laps

(other finishers unknown)

Fastest lap: Higgins, 1:09.25, 103.34mph.

Round 2, San Luis Potosi, 20 October 1996, 39 laps - 56.47 miles

Pos.

Driver

Laps

Time

1

Derek Higgins (IRL)

39 laps

51m 37.89s

2

Mario Dominguez (MEX)

39 laps

51m 40.11s

3

Carlos Guerrero (MEX)

39 laps

51m 42.92s

4

Fernando Plata (MEX)

39 laps

51m 46.61s

5

Jaime Cordero (MEX)

39 laps

51m 46.83s

6

Freddy Tame Jr (MEX)

39 laps

51m 55.19s

7

Jimmy Morales (MEX)

38 laps

-

8

Ruben Garcia Novoa (MEX)

37 laps

-

9

Eduardo Galicia (MEX)

33 laps

-

10

Rafael Martinez (MEX)

30 laps

-

 

Round 3, Zacatecas (MEX), 10 November 1996

Mario Dominguez, round 3

Mario Dominguez (left) gave Herdez Competition its first win in the Mexican Formula 3000 championship when he led from start to finish at Zacatecas. Dominguez claimed pole ahead of Jaime Cordero, with ten drivers qualifying within one second. And he took the lead at the start, with Derek Higgins diving through from fourth to second. A lap later, Jaime Cordero passed Higgins for second at the end of the main straight. But both were passed by Cordero's teammate Jimmy Morales who chased but failed to catch Dominguez. The series is set for a fierce finale between Dominguez and Higgins.

(Report by Rosa Elena Torres taken from Autosport)

Round 3, Zacatecas (MEX), 10 November 1996, 39 laps - 49.45 miles

Pos.

Driver

Time

1

Mario Dominguez (MEX)

34:48.60, 85.24mph

2

Jimmy Morales (MEX)

34:49.11

3

Jaime Cordero (MEX)

34:59.83

4

Derek Higgins (IRL)

35:26.31

5

Rafael Martinez (MEX)

35:31.39

6

Gerardo Martinez (MEX)

35:33.38

7

Ruben Garcia Novoa (MEX)

35:33.93

8

Carlos Guerrero (MEX)

38 laps

9

Eduardo Goeters (MEX)

38 laps

10

Freddy Tame Jr. (MEX)

38 laps

(other finishers unknown)

Fastest lap: Morales, 52.97s, 86.18mph

 

Round 4, Mexico City (MEX), 1 December 1996

Jimmy Morales, round 4

Jaime Cordero grabbed the first ever Mexican Formula 3000 Championship title by winning the final round at Mexico City. He left it very late, however, for he didn't take the lead until the final lap, taking his Marlboro backed Chrysler-engined Lola T96/50 past teammate Jimmy Morales (left) for the vital points he needed to overhaul British driver Derek Higgins.

Higgins started from pole for the Quaker State team, but Rafael Martinez grabbed the lead with a brilliant start from the second row. He kept the lead for just two laps, however, before a puncture deflated his title hopes. And this left Morales in a lead he was to keep until the final lap, when he moved over to let his team mate Cordero pass him to win by half a length.

Higgins' race was ruined on lap 3 when he and Mario Dominguez clashed and he had to call at the pits for a punctured tyre to be replaced. Starting back in sixth, Cordero was helped by this incident to his two chief rivals on his way towards the front. But he was worried by gearbox problems and increasingly by Jorge Goeters, who was snapping at his gearbox. And with Higgins making up ground, it was only when he crossed the finish line that Cordero knew he had achieved his aim: Higgins made it back only as high as 10th and the points for this were insufficient for the 1995 Mexican F3 Champion to claim back to back titles.

Fernando Plata claimed fourth, despite enduring a clash on the final lap that dropped Gerardo Martinez back to seventh place.

(Report by Rosa Elena Torres taken from Autosport)

Round 4, Mexico City (MEX), 1 December 1996

Pos.

Driver

Time

1

Jaime Cordero (MEX)

39:36.14, 112.99mph

2

Jimmy Morales (MEX)

39:36.26

3

Jorge Goeters (MEX)

39:39.73

4

Fernando Plata (MEX)

39:56.92

5

Carlos Guerrero (MEX)

40:15.42

6

Rafael Martinez (MEX)

40:17.72

7

Gerardo Martinez (MEX)

40:19.64

8

Eduardo Goeters (MEX)

40:20.60

9

Freddy Tame Jr. (MEX)

40:29.39

10

Derek Higgins (IRL)

40:31.43

(other finishers unknown)

 

Championship results 1996

Final standings 1996

Pos.

Driver

Points

1

Jaime Cordero (MEX)

264

2

Derek Higgins (IRL)

255

3

Mario Dominguez (MEX)

251

4

Carlos Guerrero (MEX)

232

5

Rafael Martinez (MEX)

226

6

Jimmy Morales (MEX)

200

 (Sources: GEL Motorsport, Stephen Herbert, Autosport, Rosa Elena Torres)

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