Menasheh Idafar departed the Nurburgring in philosophical mood this afternoon, Sunday, 3rd July, after a hugely difficult weekend of Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series action which culminated in a brace of highly unfortunate non-finishes in rounds 14 and 15 of the season.
With his first ever experience of the German track not getting off to the best of starts in round 13 on Saturday, 2nd July, the 20-year-old aimed to get as much track time under his belt as possible during today’s pair of races but contact from other drivers in both outings ruined those hopes.
Making a great start to this morning’s encounter, Menasheh carved his way through from a lowly 19th on the grid – the starting position determined from the result of Saturday’s race – into 14th on the opening lap.
After a two-lap Safety Car period, racing resumed and the T-Sport driver continued his progress by moving into 13th place. Unfortunately though, contact while being challenged on lap five resulted in a major excursion at a speed of around 135mph – thankfully Menasheh emerged unscathed.
Starting round 15 from 17th on the grid, the British-born Bahraini had another big task on his hands to work his way through the order but his chances were ended at the second corner when yet more contact from a rival competitor led to an enforced pit-stop for Menasheh.
Re-emerging a couple of laps down on the leaders, his race disappointingly ended soon after with a dramatic visit to the gravel trap at Ford Curve. Marking his most difficult and trying weekend of the season so far, Menasheh is now focused on looking ahead to the next three rounds in two weeks.
“It’s not been a great weekend at all”, he commented, “It’s really disappointing how things turned out – everything that could go wrong did! I didn’t have a chance to see if we’d managed to improve the car for today because of the contact in both races so that was frustrating, it’s just been one of those weekends. I’m looking forward to Paul Ricard now, hopefully we’ll have a better time there.”
Paul Ricard HTTT, situated in Le Castellet in the south of France, will host rounds 16, 17 and 18 of the 2011 Cooper Tires British F3 International Series on 16th/17th July.