Menasheh Idafar concluded a very difficult weekend at Spa-Francorchamps with a positive race finish during round 21 of the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series this afternoon, Saturday, 30th July.
Unable to build on the promise shown in pre-event testing during qualifying and the first two races yesterday, the British-born Bahraini was determined to secure a strong result and he did manage to achieve that – battling through from the back of the grid to end up the 14th placed British F3 runner.
Along with forming the seventh race meeting of the British F3 campaign, this weekend’s event in Belgium has also been part of the FIA Formula 3 International Trophy meaning several drivers also took part from the F3 Euroseries.
In some ways that was bad news for Menasheh, when taking into account his unfortunate excursion in qualifying on Friday, as it meant starting today’s race in 27th position on the final row of the gird and with a lot of hard work ahead in the 40-minute encounter.
Making a good getaway and threading his Dallara-Volkswagen neatly through the opening lap, the 20-year-old made his way into the overall top 20 but slipped back to 22nd on lap two. Passing Pietro Fantin on lap three to take 21st place, a moment on lap four lost Menasheh the spot but he gained again when Pipo Derani encountered problems.
Running just outside the top 20 at mid-distance, on lap 10 the T-Sport driver moved into 20th place when F3 Euroseries competitor Carlos Munoz pitted and Menasheh stayed there to the chequered flag on lap 17 – therefore finishing 14th of the British F3 drivers.
“I’m happy we managed to get through the race and finish after the way things went yesterday”, said Menasheh, “It’s been a really tough weekend, we started off well in testing but then it all started to go wrong. Coming through from the back today wasn’t too bad, especially as our tyres weren’t great after the contact in the race yesterday. It’s been a positive end.”
There is now a five week break in the Cooper Tires British F3 International Series calendar with rounds 22, 23 and 24 of the season seeing the championship return to the UK with a visit to Rockingham in Northamptonshire on 3rd/4th September.