Menasheh Idafar delivered by far his most promising performance of the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series pre-season at Oulton Park today, Tuesday, 22nd March, by ending the outing a fantastic second quickest overall – the highest placed of the Volkswagen powered runners.
The T-Sport racer, who has driven well throughout officially timed testing over the past few weeks, came to the fore with a stunning performance at the Cheshire venue’s 2.69-mile International Circuit to finish the day just 0.3 seconds shy of the top of the times.
His best lap came in the first of three sessions, a time of 1m27.989 seconds (110.14mph) placing him second quickest and confirming the reigning National Class Champion’s potential as a very exciting prospect in the category’s headline division this year.
In session two he continued his impressively high level of performance with the fourth quickest lap of 1m28.662 seconds (109.30mph) – just 0.3 seconds shy of the top of the times again – and in the third and final outing he was within 0.2 seconds of the top, albeit in seventh position with a time of 1m28.445 seconds (109.57mph).
“My car was perfect from the start this morning, it was amazing all day”, said the 20-year-old British-born Bahraini, “On older tyres we were really fast, I didn’t find quite as much time as I should have done on the newer ones but it’s still been an incredible day for us. To be second fastest, and the best of the Volkswagens, is a really great feeling and gives us a lot of confidence.”
Oulton Park’s International Circuit, which traditionally stages the curtain-raiser to the British F3 season, will host the second event of the 2011 championship on Saturday, 23rd April, and Monday, 25th April – no track action will take place on Easter Sunday, 24th April.
In the meantime, the final pre-season test outing for the drivers and teams will come two weeks from now on Tuesday, 5th April, and Wednesday, 6th April at the newly configured Snetterton 300 Circuit in Norfolk. From there, the 2011 championship will get underway with the first three rounds of the season on 16th/17th April at the world famous Monza circuit in Italy.