Multiple British Formula 3 National Class race winner Menasheh Idafar enjoyed an excellent test outing at Snetterton Circuit in East Anglia today, Tuesday, 20th July, during which he lapped within just half a second of the outright International Class pace.
Off the back of two class victories and a further podium finish at this past weekend’s Cooper Tires British F3 International Series event at Rockingham, the 19-year-old continued his rich vein of form in today’s officially timed outing to outpace National Class rival James Cole by 0.159 seconds.
Snetterton will host the penultimate event of the 2010 season on 29th/30th August but this test gave Menasheh and his fellow championship regulars a golden opportunity to try set-up options for the upcoming event at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium 10 days from now.
During this morning’s opening 50-minute session, he lapped with a best time of 1m02.893 seconds (111.73mph) to end the outing 15th fastest overall and within just 0.9 seconds of outright series leader Jean-Eric Vergne’s timesheet-topping pace.
Producing a typically consistent performance throughout, Menasheh managed to improve his time marginally to a best of 1m02.844 seconds (111.81mph) in session two. Relative to the quicker International Class cars though, he made a bigger stride forward by ending the run 11th overall and within eight 10ths of a second of the outright pace which was this time set by Gabriel Dias.
In the third and final run, the ever-improving T-Sport driver sliced four 10ths of a second off his previous best to end the session, and the test overall, with a time of 1m02.443 seconds (112.53mph) – only 0.508 seconds shy of Vergne at the top. On combined times for the whole day, Menasheh was 14th fastest and the top National Class runner.
“I’m really happy with how everything’s gone today, our pace was really good – to be within half a second of the top International Class guys was great”, he commented, “Everyone did a lot of work on set-up for the next three races at Spa and we’re happy with what we did. Our times were really competitive, we had a strong day.”
Rounds 16, 17 and 18 of the 2010 Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series will take place less than a fortnight from now on Friday, 30th July, and Saturday, 31st July, at Spa-Francorchamps – the home of the FIA Formula One World Championship’s Belgian Grand Prix.