Anglo-Bahraini racer Menasheh Idafar produced the stand-out performance during the penultimate round of the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit today, Sunday, 9th October, with a truly remarkable drive from 19th on the grid to fourth place.
Starting the first of the day’s two races on the 10th row of the grid by virtue of his finishing position during round 28 on Saturday afternoon, the T-Sport driver took the decision to change to treaded tyres on the grid due to the track surface being incredibly slippery after earlier rain.
Proving to be the perfect call, Menasheh made a sensational start and rocketed up the order with some brilliantly brave overtaking around the outside of Copse Corner and quickly scythed his way through into the top five before deposing the slick-tyre shod car of 2011 British F3 Champion Felipe Nasr for fourth position.
Lapping as the quickest driver during the early stages, the 20-year-old continued to produce very impressive times throughout and consolidated fourth place very comfortably to finish just over four seconds shy of the podium – a truly remarkable performance. Menasheh was actually the third best placed championship regular with race winner Alexander Sims making a one-off outing.
“I made a really good start and just went around the outside of all of them”, said Menasheh, “Before I knew it, I was in fourth place – it was amazing! On the lap out of the pits I thought it looked like it was going to dry fast but the places where you needed to accelerate you just couldn’t, so we went with the wets and it was definitely the right call.”
In round 30, the final race of the championship, Menasheh lined-up 18th on the grid and after an action-packed opening lap he made his way up the order impressively into 13th position but slipped to 14th on lap three after almost locking wheels with Fahmi Ilyas at the exit of Brooklands.
On lap 11 he regained 13th when Jack Harvey was handed a drive-through penalty and although shuffled back a position on lap 14, he again benefitted when Scott Pye also received a penalty four laps from the finish and so moved back once again into 13th place which he held to the flag.
Primary school competition winners cheer-on Idafar and T-Sport…
Menasheh and the T-Sport team had some extra support for the final weekend of the season with a group of lucky competition winners from St Matthias Primary School in Malvern, Worcestershire, attending the event as special guests.
Following an educational visit to the school back in May, during which pupils were set a challenge of designing a racing buggy, 12 youngsters were selected to have produced the best work. Along with the prize of visiting the home of the British Grand Prix to watch Menasheh in action, they also had the chance to see their own names on the livery of his Dallara-Volkswagen.
Having been close to adding a fourth podium to his season’s tally today, the 2010 National Class Champion ended his first year in the headline International Class of British F3 in 14th position overall, just three points shy of the top 12.