Menasheh Idafar - NurburgringMixed conditions at Germany’s Nurburgring today, Friday, 1st July, brought contrasting fortunes for Menasheh Idafar during free practice ahead of the weekend’s 13th, 14th and 15th rounds of the 2011 Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series.

Although having never competed at the German Grand Prix track before, the 20-year-old quickly got up to speed in the wet morning session and ran comfortably inside the top seven before a minor excursion in his Dallara-Volkswagen unfortunately ended his involvement 15 minutes early.

He therefore concluded the opening practice run 13th fastest overall with a time of 2m12.709 seconds, three 10ths of a second ahead of multiple race winner Lucas Foresti and just a second shy of the top six.

With the circuit having dried fully in time for the afternoon outing, the British-born Bahraini aimed for at least as good a performance but difficulties with oversteer – in the first sector of the lap in particular – limited him to an uncharacteristic 18th quickest. Nonetheless, he was the fastest of the T-Sport drivers with a best time of 1m55.928 seconds.

Off the back of his second podium of the season at Brands Hatch two weeks ago, Menasheh is keen to keep the momentum moving on his debut appearance at the Nurburgring. Ahead of tomorrow’s qualifying session and first race of the weekend, he’ll be working hard with the team’s engineers to unlock some improved performance.

“In the wet first session we were ok”, said Menasheh, “I was seventh fastest before I had a slight moment but I ended up losing the last 15 minutes so dropped to 13th. There was no big damage though so it was ok. This afternoon we had a lot of oversteer in the dry, especially in sector one, so we’re going to go through all of the data and see what we need to do to improve for tomorrow.”

British F3 action will resume at the Nurburgring at 10.25 (local time) tomorrow, Saturday, 2nd July, with qualifying for the fifth event of the season ahead of the first of the weekend’s races, round 13, at 15.25. Rounds 14 and 15 will take place on Sunday, 3rd July, at 10.35 and 14.00 respectively.

Provisional 2011 Cooper Tires British F3 International Series Standings (after Rd12):
1st Felipe Nasr, 154pts; 11th Menasheh Idafar, 27pts

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.