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Idafar’s Race Three Win Keeps F3 National Class Title Close

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A win in the final British Formula Three race at Silverstone (14-15 August) kept the title race in the National Class tantalisingly close, a dominant performance by Menasheh Idafar keeping his deficit to rival James Cole to just nine points.

The pair of T-Sport drivers, who have swapped the championship lead throughout the season, were joined for the weekend's races by Juan Carlos Sistos, driving for Team West-Tec.

It was the Mexican who won the opening race of the weekend ahead of Cole and Idafar, before Cole narrowly won the second 'pit-stop' race on Sunday morning.

Idafar remained close to the rear wing of Cole's Mugen-Honda engined Dallara (the spec car for the class), crossing the line only 0.7 seconds behind after the two drivers used entirely different strategies for when to make their mandatory visit to the pitlane.

Idafar had taken his stop almost immediately, on lap two, while Cole remained out, running to lap eight before making his stop. However, neither driver's choice was decisive, Cole only just holding off Idafar to once more extend his lead.

The third and final race, however, was Idafar's to dominate – starting amongst the International Class field in twelfth thanks to a sublime performance in the damp qualifying session, while Cole languished in nineteenth.

That initial advantage was preserved in the opening laps, Cole eight places behind the British-born Bahraini when the field was neutralised behind the safety car after a two car accident on the first lap.

Idafar was never pressured during the race allowing him to race the premier class drivers – including commendable fourteenth overall, just seven-tenths behind Jazeman Jaafar, driving for Carlin, and half a minute clear of Cole who finished the race in 20th place.

“I'm really pleased to have ended the weekend so well,” said Idafar, 19, “I was disappointed to miss out on winning the pit-stop race as things went really well over the first couple of laps but in this afternoon's race everything went perfectly. Our pace was really strong and I really did enjoy it.”

The win resulted in Cole's lead bein trimmed by a point compared to the lead he had begun the weekend with.

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