Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series racer Menasheh Idafar got his preparations for this weekend’s 2010 season finale off to a great start at Rockingham in Northamptonshire today, Tuesday, 21st September, during the first of two days’ official testing at the 1.94-mile track.

The 19-year-old, who heads into the last three races at Brands Hatch leading the National Class standings, out-performed chief rival James Cole in both the morning and afternoon sessions and concluded the outing just 1.2 seconds shy of the outright International Class pace.

During session one, Menasheh posted a best time of 1m13.785 seconds (94.65mph) to lead the way in the National Class and place 13th overall while during the afternoon run, his quickest lap was a time of 1m13.799 seconds (94.63mph).

On combined times for the day, the T-Sport driver concluded the outing 17th overall thanks to his morning best and, as was the case throughout the test, he ended up half a second faster than team-mate and title rival Cole.

“It’s been a really good day and just the start we wanted”, said the first-year Formula 3 racer, “It all went well and although I wanted to be faster in the afternoon, to end both sessions half a second quicker than James (Cole) was good and it’s a great starting point for tomorrow.”

Rockingham’s International Super Sports Car Circuit will host a second day of testing tomorrow, Wednesday, 22nd September, before the teams and drivers decamp to Brands Hatch in Kent for the all-important season finale this weekend, 25th/26th September.

2010 Cooper Tires British F3 International Series ‘National Class’ standings:
1st Menasheh Idafar, 382pts; 2nd James Cole, 378pts

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.