Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series graduate Menasheh Idafar made an impressive start to his F3 career during the first officially timed test of the pre-season at Snetterton in Norfolk today, Wednesday, 24th February.
At the wheel of T-Sport’s Gulf Computer Services W.L.L liveried National Class Dallara Mugen-Honda, the 18-year-old ended the rain-affected day an excellent seventh fastest overall, emerging as the quickest of the National competitors and also outpacing a dozen International Class runners.
Menasheh certainly shone during the wet four-hour morning session, concluding the opening period with a lap of 1m11.706 seconds (97.99mph) to secure a spot in the overall top six. Importantly, he was also 1.4 seconds faster than new team-mate and fellow National Class runner James Cole – the reigning UK Formula Ford Champion.
During the drier two-hour afternoon session Menasheh was again inside the top 10, this time with a lap of 1m12.503 seconds (96.92mph), placing him just three 10ths of a second behind Alex Brundle in T-Sport’s Volkswagen-powered International Class entry and 0.6 seconds ahead of Cole.
“Everything went really well for us this morning and although I didn’t quite get my last few laps right this afternoon, it was still a good session”, he said, “The T-Sport car is excellent in the wet, I’m really pleased with how my first official test in Formula 3 has gone. It’s only the first day, so we’re not getting carried away, but it’s a good, consistent start for us.”
T-Sport team principal Russell Eacott added: “Snetterton was Menasheh’s fabled track from last year during the Formula Renault Winter Championship and F3 testing, so we did expect him to have a good day and he certainly delivered. There’s a lot of hard work to do to keep moving forward as the other guys will obviously get faster and faster but it’s a good base to start from, we’re happy.”
Officially timed British Formula 3 International Series pre-season testing continues at Snetterton Circuit tomorrow, Thursday, 25th February.