Round 13 of the 2011 Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series was a bittersweet affair for category front-runner Menasheh Idafar at the Nurburgring in Germany today, Saturday, 2nd July – an impressive drive to ninth place taken away with the application of a 30 second post-race penalty.
Having started his maiden event at the Nurburgring in 12th position, the 20-year-old enjoyed a good first lap and avoided multi-car contact at turn one to move into eighth place at the wheel of his Volkswagen-powered Dallara.
Despite slipping to ninth behind the recovering Rupert Svendsen-Cook on lap two, Menasheh raced well and although coming under intense pressure from title contender Lucas Foresti as the race wore on the T-Sport driver managed to keep the Brazilian at bay.
Holding on to ninth all the way to the chequered flag on lap 15, sealing some hard-earned points in the process, Menasheh was then served with a 30-second time penalty post-race having been deemed by officials to have ‘transgressed track limits’ on more than one occasion.
In the amended classification, he slips to 19th position and therefore remains 11th in the standings ahead of tomorrow’s 14th and 15th rounds of the championship – the halfway point of the season.
“It’s disappointing, obviously, as we had a good race and I didn’t really think we’d have the chance to get in the top 10 after qualifying”, said the British-born Bahraini, “It was a tough race and I had a lot of pressure from behind. It’s a shame we got the penalty but tomorrow is another day.”
In qualifying Menasheh wasn’t quite able to replicate the sort of pace he produced at Brands Hatch last time out and ended the run with the 17th fastest time of 1m55.304 seconds (160.72 km/h) for Sunday’s ‘feature race’. However, a number of drivers in the session were deemed not to have heeded yellow flags hence his much-improved 12th on the grid for today’s encounter.
Round 14 of the 2011 Cooper Tires British F3 International Series will get underway at 10.35 (local time) tomorrow, Sunday, 3rd July, with round 15 following at approximately 14.00. Menasheh will start the first race from 19th on the grid while for round 15 he will line-up in 17th position.