Menasheh Idafar produced an excellent drive during round 28 of the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit this afternoon, Saturday, 8th October, before an unfortunate drive-through penalty cost him a well deserved 12th place finish.
Starting the race down in 18th position due to major oversteer problems in the morning qualifying session, the 20-year-old multiple podium finisher was determined to get a good start and did just that with a fantastic getaway.
Passing several cars on the run to the first corner, Copse, Menasheh steered his Dallara-Volkswagen into 14th place on lap one and although slipping to 15th on lap two behind Hywel Lloyd, both drivers gained a couple of spots at the expense of others on lap four with Menasheh rising into 13th position.
Pressuring Lloyd hard, while also repelling the advances of Fahmi Ilyas behind, the Anglo-Bahraini then moved into the top 12 on lap seven following a spin at the exit of Becketts for interloping GP3 Series front-runner Mitch Evans.
Continuing comfortably in 12th place, as the race passed into its final third championship officials decreed Menasheh wasn’t adhering to the track limits sufficiently at Stowe Corner and therefore served him with a drive-through penalty.
Disappointed with the decision, the T-Sport driver had no option but to serve the drive-through which he did at the conclusion of the penultimate lap. Re-emerging from the pitlane in 19th place, Menasheh did manage to close right up behind Adderley Fong on the final lap to cross the line just 0.2 seconds adrift.
“It’s really disappointing we had the penalty as it had been quite a good race, I made a really good start and passed a few cars straight away”, said Menasheh, “I’m not sure why they thought I had gone too wide at Stowe, I drove it the same as in qualifying, but you have to accept the penalty. It’s a tough way for the race to end and means we have a hard fight ahead in both races tomorrow.”
Round 29 of the Cooper Tires British F3 International Series is scheduled to get underway just before 10.10 tomorrow, Sunday, 9th October, with round 30 following at around 16.10. Both of the races will receive live television coverage on cable and digital satellite channel Motors TV – please check www.motorstv.com for more details.