Menasheh Idafar secured his fifth National Class victory of the 2010 Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series at Hockenheim in Germany this morning, Sunday, 30th May, to close to within just eight points of rival James Cole.
Starting round 12 from 19th place on the grid, one position behind his T-Sport team-mate, Menasheh got away well and made up a couple of positions during the first two laps to move to within a few 10ths of a second of Cole. Quickly setting about trying to take the National Class lead, Menasheh managed just that on lap three with a good pass before closing on F3 race winner Wayne Boyd.
Just like during round 11, Boyd proved a tough nut to crack and when attempting to pass him on lap 10, Menasheh had an unfortunate spin and subsequent stall. Losing around 40 seconds while firing up his car, the 19-year-old at least managed to rejoin and this proved crucial to the National Class battle when Cole had a spin himself – and retired – three laps from the end.
Coming through to finish 17th overall and with the National Class win, Menasheh also posted the quickest class lap of 1m36.744 seconds to gain an additional championship point. Heading into today’s 40-minute race 29 points adrift of Cole, the gap after round 12 is now just eight points.
“I was really pleased with my pace today, the car felt perfect”, said Menasheh, “Although it’s unfortunate for James (Cole), his spin helped me close him down in the points. I lost a lot of time when I had a spin trying to pass (Wayne) Boyd but in the end everything worked out. The team has been fantastic, we worked really hard to improve and to win again is great.”
Strongly capping off a weekend in which he improved his performance markedly over the course of the event, the first year Formula 3 racer is looking forward to a return to the UK circuits following two back-to-back European encounters.
There is now a lengthy seven week break in the calendar ahead of rounds 13, 14 and 15 of the 2010 Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series at Rockingham, near Corby in Northamptonshire, over the weekend 17th/18th July.