T-Sport’s Menasheh Idafar was in the thick of the action at Magny-Cours in France today, Sunday, 23rd May, during rounds eight and nine of the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series, but an unfortunate puncture and problems with serious oversteer compromised the eventual outcome.
Lining up 11th on the grid overall for this morning’s short 20-minute sprint race, thanks to his finishing position in Saturday’s encounter, the 19-year-old National Class challenger was only able to post an 18th position finish – second in class – when forced to pit early-on following a puncture.
Round eight was actually red flagged following a lap three accident involving Jazeman Jaafar and James Calado. Unfortunately for Menasheh though, things didn’t go well at the re-start when contact on lap one led to an enforced pit-stop. Recovering to the track a lap down, he at least managed to score vital championship points and post the fastest National Class lap by 0.4 seconds.
Problems with understeer and a badly flat-spotted tyre caused the Formula 3 rookie unsurprising difficulties as the 40-minute ninth round progressed. Heading the National Class for two thirds of the eventual race distance, he couldn’t quite hold on to the chequered flag and was unable to prevent points leader James Cole from going through on lap 17.
Even though hampered by understeer problems, Menasheh once again posted the quickest National Class lap at the wheel of his Mugen-Honda powered car. Furthermore, by recording finishes in all three of this weekend’s races he secured a total of 47 points to stay in touch with team-mate Cole.
“Today was pretty tough, the puncture in the first race meant we didn’t have a chance and in the second race I had really bad understeer and a flat-spotted tyre which made things difficult”, said the British-born Bahraini, “The understeer got worse and worse, I just couldn’t hold on to the class lead in the end. At least we finished all three races this weekend and took away some good points.”
Menasheh now travels from France to Hockenheim, the home of the FIA Formula One World Championship’s German Grand Prix, for rounds 10, 11 and 12 of the British F3 season next weekend, 28th/29th/30th May.