Jonny Kane is a British racing driver who was successful both in sports car racing and single-seater racing. His greatest result in a career was the LMP2 class victory at 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2010, together with Strakka Racing teammates Nick Leventis and Danny Watts.
Earlier in a career, Kane clinched several championship titles in single-seater competitions, such were British Formula 3, Formula Vauxhall or Formula Ford.
Many championship titles in junior formula competitions
Born in May 1973 in Comber, Northern Ireland, Jonny Kane spent his teenage years in karting competitions and then switched to Formula Ford in 1991. In his rookie season in car racing, he was the Irish Formula Ford Junior champion, then taking the overall title in 1992.
In the following years, he continued to race in the British Formula Ford but his greatest success came in the European FF Championship, in which he won the title in 1994. Kane's streak of success continued in 1995 when he was the British Formula Vauxhall champion.
British Formula 3 champion in 1997
In 1996, he graduated to the British Formula 3 Championship, driving a Dallara-Honda for Paul Stewart Racing to three victories. He finished third in the points, behind Ralph Firman Jr. and Kurt Mollekens. Kane was also on a podium at Masters of Formula 2 event, finishing in the second place.
In 1997, Kane stayed with Paul Stewart Racing in the British Formula 3 and won the championship title after scoring eleven podiums in fifteen races, including three wins. He defeated Nicolas Minassian in a championship fight.
Jonny Kane was the British Formula 3 champion in 1997
Two seasons in the Indy Lights championship
In 1998, Kane made just four starts in the Formula 3000 International and then moved his career to the US in 1999, joining Team Kool Green in the Indy Lights series. He was a race winner once in twelve races, finishing the season in the fourth place.
Kane stayed with the same team in the 2000 Indy Lights season, scoring again one victory to finish tenth in the points.
Kane's last year in open-wheel racing was in 2001 when he served as a test driver for the Arrows F1 team.
Jonny Kane as MG factory driver
Le Mans 24h debut in 2001
In June 2001, Jonny Kane made his Le Mans 24 Hours debut. He joined MG factory team to drive the #34 MG-Lola EX257 alongside Anthony Reid and Warren Hughes. Thy retired after 30 laps.
A year later, Kane returned to Le Mans with the same team, same car and same co-drivers, recording one more DNF. In 2002, Kane also made one start in the American Le Mans Series, driving an MG-Lola EX257 at Sebring 12 Hours.
In the following years, Kane raced occasionally in sports car races with different teams, finishing sixth at 2003 Sebring 12 Hours with Audi Sport UK's Audi R8 or driving TVR Tuscan T400R in a couple of races of the 2004 Le Mans Series. He then spent a full season in the 2005 Le Mans Series with Team LNT, driving a TVR Tuscan. His best result was the GT2 class win at Spa 1000 Km.
Two DNFs at Le Mans with Spyker Squadron
In 2006, Kane joined Spyker Squadron to drive a Spyker C8 Spyder GT2R in the Le Mans Series and FIA GT Championship. He also raced with that car at Le Mans 24 Hours, sharing a car with Jeroen Bleekemolen and Mike Hezemans. They retired after 202 laps.
In 2007, his fourth attempt at Le Mans ended again prematurely, after just 70 laps. He was driving a Spyker C8 Spyder GT2R together with Jaroslav Janiš and Mike Hezemans. He spent the rest of the year driving a Spyker for Speedy Racing Team in the Le Mans Series but without notable results.
In 2008, Kane spent a season in the Le Mans Series with Embassy Racing, driving a WF01-Zytek LMP2 prototype. With the same car, he also competed at Le Mans 24h, recording one more DNF.
LMP2 class podium at Le Mans in 2009
In 2009, Kane rejoined Speedy Racing Team Sebah in the Le Mans Series, scoring one victory in a Lola B08/80-Judd prototype and finishing as the vice-champion in LMP2 class, together with teammate Xavier Pompidou.
They also gained a great success at Le Mans 24 Hours, finishing 12th overall and second in LMP2 class. The third driver in that race was Benjamin Leuenberger.
Jonny Kane's victorious car at Le Mans was the #42 HPD ARX-01C
Class winner at 2010 Le Mans with Strakka Racing
For the 2010 Le Mans Series season, Jonny Kane joined Strakka Racing. It turned to be a good move as he scored his career-best result at Le Mans, winning the LMP2 class together with Danny Watts and team owner Nick Leventis in the #42 HPD ARX-01c.
They were also successful in the Le Mans Series, scoring three wins in five races to finish second in the points on LMP2 class.
Jonny Kane (left), Nick Leventis and Danny Watts
Competing with Strakka Racing until 2017
Jonny Kane stayed with Strakka Racing for seven more seasons, until the end of 2017, driving for the team in various sports car competitions (Le Mans Series, FIA WEC, Blancpain GT Series).