Impressive British Formula 3 racer Menasheh Idafar made great progress during the second outing of the championship pre-season at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit this week – the 2010 National Class Champion heading an officially timed session for the first time and ending day two eighth overall.
Following the annual Cooper Tires British F3 International Series ‘Media Day’ on Tuesday, 8th March, where Menasheh and his T-Sport team worked through a variety of set-up options, huge strides were made today, Wednesday, 9th March, as he carved a full second off his previous best time.
The International Class runner, who will celebrate his 20th birthday this coming Sunday, performed very strongly during the final afternoon at the Northamptonshire track and finished the second day in the top eight with a best effort of 1m53.415 seconds (116.19mph).
“I’m really pleased how today has gone, we worked really hard to get a good set-up and in the end the pace was pretty good”, said Menasheh, “We tried a lot of different things on the first day. Today was wet to start but in the afternoon, when it was properly dry, we were able to really improve.”
Today’s test got underway on a wet-but-drying track so times weren’t that representative in the first couple of sessions. Lapping in 2m08.301 seconds (102.70mph) during the opening run, he went on to post a time of 1m57.685 seconds (111.97mph) during the drier second outing to end the morning ninth fastest overall.
It was in the afternoon though where the T-Sport racer and his team started to show their true pace, Menasheh topping an official F3 test session for the first time. Posting what turned out to be his best lap of the two days, 1m53.415 seconds, during the first run, the British-born Bahraini powered round the 3.66-mile track a full second faster than he managed on Tuesday.
He continued to impress during the fourth and final session where he was consistently in and around the top half dozen for most of the run. Red flagged with a couple of minutes remaining on the clock, he concluded the last outing of the week with a time of 1m53.599 seconds (116.00mph) – just 0.679 seconds shy of the session’s pace and on the fringe of the top 10.
Pre-season Cooper Tires British F3 International Series testing will continue just under a fortnight from now on Tuesday, 22nd March, at Oulton Park in Cheshire. The day is to be shared with drivers and teams from the Formula Renault 2.0 UK Championship.