Menasheh Idafar continued to underline his impressively strong pace at the new Snetterton 300 Circuit today, Saturday, 14th May, after setting the seventh fastest race lap during a battling recovery drive in the first of the weekend’s three Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series races.
Having made a fantastic start to this afternoon’s seventh round of the season, from the sixth row of the grid, the 20-year-old rocketed up the order into the top 10 through the first couple of corners at the 2.97-mile track and looked well on course for a solid points finish.
The British-born Bahraini was then forced wide at Agostini – the fourth turn of the reconfigured Norfolk circuit – and pushed onto the grass, dropping him back down to 13th place but he pressed on undeterred in his pursuit of the group ahead.
On lap four, however, his bid for the top 10 came to an abrupt halt when yet more contact pitched his T-Sport car into a spin, losing Menasheh a huge amount of time. Rejoining the track in 17th place, some 14 seconds adrift of the cars ahead, the 2010 National Class Champion began to reel them in and in doing so he posted the seventh fastest lap of the race – 1m40.975 seconds.
Following a three-lap Safety Car period, which began on lap nine, Menasheh was able to take full advantage and make more gains to eventually finish in 14th position – having dispatched the Carlin cars of Jazeman Jaffar and Jack Harvey in the process with some strong driving.
“It’s disappointing for the race to turn out how it did as I’d made a really good start, I passed about four cars in the first couple of corners but then I got pushed wide and a few laps later I got hit on the side which lost me a lot of time”, said Menasheh, “Our pace was very good, we had the seventh fastest lap, so it shows we could have run in the top 10. Hopefully tomorrow will be better!”
Round eight of the 2011 Cooper Tires British F3 International Series will begin at 10.55 tomorrow, Sunday, 15th May, with round nine following at around 16.15. Menasheh will start the first race from 14th on the grid, by virtue of his finishing position this afternoon, while for the final outing of the weekend he will line-up an improved 11th thanks to his fastest lap in qualifying.