Reigning National Class Champion Menasheh Idafar made a superb start to the second weekend of the 2011 Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series at Oulton Park today, Friday, 22nd April, with the third fastest time overall during pre-event testing.
Delivering an outstanding performance during this morning’s warm and sunny opening session, the 20-year-old posted a best time of 1m29.355 seconds (108.45mph) on his sixth lap to conclude the run third quickest – within a mere 0.117 seconds of pace-setter Carlos Huertas.
For the early afternoon session, track temperatures increased to 42 degrees and so the outright pace was marginally slower. Menasheh lapped strongly again and although not quite able to match his morning best, a time of 1m29.761 seconds (107.96mph) placed him eighth fastest.
Finishing the day third on combined times marks a tremendous beginning to the first UK event of the season for the British-born Bahraini who goes into the race meeting 11th in the championship. At Monza in Italy last weekend, he steered his T-Sport engineered Dallara-Volkswagen to a pair of points finishes during the season curtain-raiser.
“It’s been a great start to the weekend, it’s a fantastic feeling to be third fastest but there’s a lot of hard work ahead”, said Menasheh, “You always want to be quick in testing but it’ll be in qualifying tomorrow and the races where it really matters. We’re happy with how things have gone so far.”
Qualifying for the second event of the 2011 Cooper Tires British F3 International Series season will take place at 10.45 tomorrow, Saturday, 23rd April, with round four following at 15.10. There is to be no track action at Oulton Park on Sunday, 24th April, so the racing will resume on Monday, 25th April, with rounds five and six taking place at 10.00 and 14.35 respectively.