National Class challenger Menasheh Idafar led the way during Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series testing at Silverstone this morning, Friday, 13th August, ahead of the weekend’s 22nd, 23rd and 24th rounds of the 30-race season.

Running on the Northamptonshire venue’s original 3.2-mile ‘Bridge’ Grand Prix Circuit configuration, the 19-year-old concluded the two practice outings with the 13th fastest time overall from a boosted field of 25 cars. He headed National Class championship rival James Cole by four 10ths of a second.

During the dry opening hour of testing, Menasheh steered his Dallara Mugen-Honda to a best lap of 1m42.313 seconds (112.40mph) but was then one of just five drivers to improve his pace in session two – lapping with a quickest time of 1m41.865 seconds (112.89mph).

The second period was interrupted by rainfall and red flags but Menasheh got his best time of the day in before the conditions worsened to go an impressive 10th quickest in session, significantly faster than Cole and new-coming National Class runner Juan Carlos Sistos.

Menasheh commented: “Overall we’ve had a good day, the first session was dry throughout but then the rain came part way through session two. We were able to go quicker before the track got wet so I’m happy with that. We ran on wet-weather tyres near the end but it was a really old set so we didn’t really push for any times.”

Qualifying for the Silverstone weekend will get underway at 11.00 tomorrow, Saturday, 14th August, with the first of the weekend’s races – round 22 – set to follow at 15.30. On Sunday, 15th August, the 23rd round of the season will begin at 11.15 with round 24 following at around 15.45.

2010 Cooper Tires British F3 International Series ‘National Class’ standings:
1st James Cole, 296pts; 2nd Menasheh Idafar, 286pts

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.