Oulton Park in Cheshire hosted the latest officially timed test of the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series today, Wednesday, 10th March, with National Class pace-setter Menasheh Idafar once again delivering a top rate performance.
Marking his first experience of the venue’s 2.69-mile International Circuit configuration at the wheel of an F3 car, the 18-year-old headed the National Class in all three of the day’s sessions and ended the test a very competitive 10th overall on combined times.
Producing a best lap of 1m28.776 seconds (109.16mph), Menasheh concluded this week’s outing just 1.3 seconds shy of the outright pace and, more importantly, some 1.5 seconds clear of chief class rival, and T-Sport team-mate, James Cole at the track which will host the first three races of the season over Easter Weekend, 3rd/4th/5th April.
“I’m really pleased to have been in the top 10 overall today, our pace was good throughout the test which is obviously really good preparation for the first round of the season at Oulton”, commented Menasheh, “The cornering here is so much faster in an F3 car than in the Formula Renault I raced last year but I adapted to that without any problems. All in all it’s been another great day.”
During the two-hour morning session, Menasheh steered his Gulf Computer Services W.L.L liveried car to a time of 1m29.923 seconds (107.77mph) on his final lap of the run to secure 13th position overall on the timesheets and the top National Class placing by some 1.1 seconds.
The first session of the afternoon was by far the most impressive for the F3 rookie as he set the eighth quickest time overall with his lap of 1m28.776 seconds, outpacing nine International Class drivers. In the third and final session, Menasheh lapped in 1m30.064 seconds (107.60mph).
Next on the official FOTA test schedule for the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series runners will be a two-day outing at Silverstone in Northamptonshire on Tuesday, 23rd March, and Wednesday, 24th March – the latter also including the 2010 championship Media Day.