Menasheh Idafar produced a truly outstanding performance at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit this afternoon during qualifying for the second round of the 2008 Formula Renault BARC Championship; the Hillspeed racer securing his first career pole position with his very last lap of the session.
During the earlier round one qualifying period, which was affected by snowfall, the British-born Bahraini achieved eighth on the grid for the first race of the campaign and so is looking in great shape for tomorrow’s double-header at the Kent venue.
Bitterly cold throughout the day, qualifying for round one saw Menasheh produce a best lap of 58.126 seconds. He could have potentially been much faster but problems with traffic, and also the fact the session was stopped with four minutes still remaining, meant he wasn’t able to try and improve.
Round two qualifying, however, was the highlight of the day as far as the Ortolan, Gulfol and Gulf Computer Services backed star was concerned. With just 30 seconds to run in the session Menasheh was in ninth place, but an awesome final lap of 46.257 seconds saw him leap to the top of the pile, securing the first pole position of his short career.
“It’s absolutely fantastic to be on pole position”, said Menasheh following the second qualifying session, “It shows we’re quick and the work we’ve done during the pre-season is paying off. I want to say a big thank you to the guys at Hillspeed for such a great car and also to my driver coach Matt Shawyer who has been a huge help.
“It would have been nice to be further up the grid for the first race but there was a lot of traffic and I just couldn’t get a clear lap. Eighth position is still quite good though, I’m very pleased with how today has gone and I’m really looking forward to tomorrow.”
Heading into tomorrow’s two races, Menasheh is technically on the reserve list for the season-opener at Brands Hatch due to an unfortunate clerical error regarding race entries. However, he is expected to take part in round one for certain and it looks likely he will be able to try and make the most of his maiden pole position in race two as well.
Definitive starting grids for both encounters will be issued by officials tomorrow morning, Easter Monday, 24th March. Round one of the Formula Renault BARC Championship is timetabled to begin at 10.55 with round two scheduled to start at 15.00. Both races will be contested over 20 laps.