Menasheh Idafar extended his National Class lead to 10 points at Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit this afternoon, Saturday, 25th September, with his 16th victory of the 2010 Cooper Tires British F3 International Series.
Producing an excellent performance on his first ever race weekend at the 2.30-mile Kent track, the British-born Bahraini sealed the class pole position for today’s 23-lap encounter by seven 10ths of a second and went on to finish round 28 an impressive 11th overall.
“It’s great to start the weekend in this way”, said the T-Sport driver, “We did just what we needed to do in qualifying to take the class pole and to then win, and have pole for the final two races as well, is really good.”
With no practice at Brands Hatch ahead of today’s running, the competitors headed straight into qualifying this morning where Menasheh posted the fastest National Class time of 1m18.692 seconds (105.26mph) – giving him pole position for the third of the weekend’s races, round 30, by seven 10ths of a second from chief rival James Cole.
His second best time of 1m18.710 seconds (105.23mph) again gave the 19-year-old pole for today’s race on the sixth row of the grid, once more seven 10ths of a second to the good over Cole, and he made it count at the start by getting ahead of International Class runner Jazeman Jaafar to end lap one in 11th place overall.
Although coming under intense pressure throughout the race, first from Jaafar and then from Jay Bridger when Jaafar ran wide through the gravel at Druids on lap seven, Menasheh soaked it up brilliantly and saw off the attention.
Holding on to 11th position for the duration, he took the chequered flag half a second clear of Bridger at the finish and also set the fastest class lap of 1m19.503 seconds (104.18mph) to secure a bonus championship point.
Importantly, Menasheh’s performance meant he finished the first of the weekend’s races six positions ahead of Cole and with the finishing order of round 28 determining the grid for round 29, he will begin Sunday morning’s encounter with the class pole once again.
Round 29 of the 2010 Cooper Tires British F3 International Series will take place at 11.20 tomorrow, Sunday, 26th September, with the final race of the season, round 30, following at 15.45.