Impressive Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series rookie Menasheh Idafar concluded the 2010 pre-season this morning, Wednesday, 24th March, precisely the way he started it a month ago – by comfortably emerging as the fastest of the National Class competitors.
Marking the final track action for the British F3 runners ahead of Easter Weekend’s championship curtain-raiser at Oulton Park in Cheshire, today’s outing at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit took place in changeable conditions with the track drying progressively throughout the morning.
Posting a best time of 1m42.004 seconds (112.74mph) with his final lap, the T-Sport driver ended the session an excellent 12th quickest overall and 1.5 seconds ahead of nearest National Class runner, team-mate James Cole.
During all seven officially timed test days held throughout the past four weeks, Menasheh has been the fastest National Class driver so heads into his maiden season of Formula 3 action hopeful he can continue that trend.
“I’m really pleased with the outcome today, the track conditions were tricky early on but I was still able to be around the top 10 overall”, said the 19-year-old, “We’ve had a really good pre-season and everything has gone as well as I could have hoped. I can’t wait for the championship to start now!
“At Oulton Park we go straight in to qualifying, there’s no test day, so it’ll be very important to get up to speed quickly. If I can have a consistent weekend with three strong results I’ll be happy, that’s my aim. The main thing will be to score some good points and to learn as much as I can.”
Driving a Mugen-Honda powered, Gulf Computer Services W.L.L-liveried Dallara F307 for his debut season in F3, Menasheh forms part of a three car line-up at Brackley-based T-Sport alongside UK Formula Ford Champion, and fellow National Class runner, Cole and ex-Formula 2 racer Alex Brundle who will campaign a Volkswagen-engined International Class Dallara F310.
The opening three rounds of the 2010 Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series will take place next weekend at Oulton Park in Cheshire. Qualifying and the season-opening race will be held on Saturday, 3rd April, while rounds two and three will follow on Easter Monday, 5th April.
Television highlights will be screened on Freeview, cable and digital satellite in the UK through leading commercial station Channel 4 and dedicated pan-European motor racing channel Motors TV.