Menasheh Idafar recorded his fourth top 15 result of the 2009 Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship at Snetterton Circuit in Norfolk today, Sunday, 2nd August, following a determined drive during the 14th round of the campaign.
Disappointed after qualifying in 18th position on the grid for the second of the weekend’s encounters, the Ortolan and Gulf Computer Services backed racer battled well in a competitive midfield scrap and eventually emerged in 14th position – his third best result of the year.
Although he didn’t make the best of starts, it could be argued the 18-year-old’s getaway was a blessing as it enabled him to avoid a midfield incident at the Esses on the opening lap which claimed three retirements and led to the emergence of the Safety Car at the beginning of lap two.
At the re-start on lap six Menasheh was in 17th position and although slipping another place around mid-distance, he fought back well to become a focal point of a five-car battle over 14th. Racing came to an early conclusion on lap 18 though when red flags were shown as Alice Powell’s car became stranded on track after contact with a spinning Fredrik Blomstedt.
Officials took the results back to the end of lap 16 which meant Menasheh was classified in 14th place, the seventh highest Graduate Cup finisher, and claimed seven championship points to maintain his top eight placing in the Graduate standings and move to within just a single point of the overall top 20 in the driver standings.
Earlier in the day, Menasheh wasn’t able to capitalise on an eighth row grid start although he was seventh in the Graduate Cup class by taking the chequered flag in 18th position overall. He didn’t get away from the line as he wanted but raced well to another points finish for his Hillspeed squad.
Commenting on rounds 13 and 14, team principal Richard Ollerenshaw said: “Menasheh produced some good overtaking moves this weekend and raced well so we’re pleased with that. It’s also noteworthy his fastest lap in the second race was just seven 10ths of a second away from the outright pace, a very good effort.”