Reigning Cooper Tires British Formula 3 National Class Champion Menasheh Idafar will graduate to the main International Class in 2011 after today confirming a deal with Russell Eacott’s T-Sport team.

Remaining with the Brackley-based squad for his second season in the UK’s premier single-seater championship, the 19-year-old will campaign a Volkswagen-powered Dallara F310 in the headline class next year.

Having already experienced his 2011 challenger with a handful of test outings over the course of the past few weeks, Menasheh has made good initial progress and continued his learning curve this past Thursday, 4th November, at Donington Park in the East Midlands.

Developing a great relationship with T-Sport throughout the course of his first season in Formula 3, the British-born Bahraini is delighted to be able to continue with the team thanks to the renewal of a commercial agreement with backer Gulf Computer Services W.L.L.

“I’m so happy to be staying with T-Sport for my step-up to the International Class, everyone at the team worked really hard this year and we built a great relationship”, he said, “The tests we’ve done in the A Class car so far have been good, we’re definitely on the right track. It’s going to be a very big challenge but I’m ready and really looking forward to it.”

Sealing the National Class title during the final round of the 2010 season at Brands Hatch, Menasheh made headlines and turned plenty of heads in the F3 paddock by winning the championship with a sensational outright podium finish in atrocious conditions. The result also gave him his 18th National Class victory of the campaign – from 30 races – to perfectly cap off a tremendous season.

One of the most important aspects of Menasheh’s 2011 deal will be the continuity of remaining with T-Sport, one of the championship’s most highly respected and successful outfits, and team principal Russell Eacott is relishing the prospect of carrying their partnership through into the premier class.

He said: “We’re very happy that Menasheh is continuing with us. It’s good to be able to take a driver from the National to the International Class. So far the winter testing has gone very well so we are looking forward to another strong season.”

Although precise dates for the 2011 Cooper Tires British F3 International Series are still unconfirmed, it has been announced the 60th anniversary season of the championship will again be contested over 30 races with visits to some of the world’s most famous race tracks.

Set to commence at Monza in Italy, the new calendar also features three other European venues, namely Paul Ricard HTTT in France, Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium and the Nurburgring in Germany. Six British circuits comprise the remainder of the schedule – Oulton Park, Donington Park, Brands Hatch, Rockingham, Snetterton and Silverstone.

Menasheh Idafar – Profile
Age: 19
Date of Birth: 13th March 1991
Nationality: British/Bahraini
Born: London, England
Lives: London, England and Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain
Sponsors: Gulf Computer Services W.L.L

Car Racing Highlights
2010:
Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series – National Class Champion with 18 victories from 30 races; secured an outright podium during the final round;
Named Sunoco Driver of the Weekend following the season finale at Brands Hatch

2009:
Formula Renault UK Winter Championship – 3rd overall with one podium;
Formula Renault UK Championship – best result of 10th position

2008:
Formula Renault UK Winter Championship – 12th overall with best result of fifth;
Formula Renault BARC Championship – 4th overall with five podiums and four poles

2007:
Formula Renault UK Winter Championship – 5th in ‘BARC’ Class with two podiums;
Formula Renault BARC Championship – first season of racing in the UK;
Formula BMW – one race at Bahrain International Circuit, finished in second place

2006:
Thunder Arabia Middle East Championship – 5th overall, two wins and five podiums

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.