Teenage motor racing sensation Menasheh Idafar got his first taste of the full Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit today, Thursday, 12th June, during a general test day at the home of the British Grand Prix.
Driving his Hillspeed run Formula Renault BARC car, the British-born Bahraini made the most of the mixed weather to conduct a whole raft of test work in wet and dry conditions. Lapping the 3.2-mile track with a best time of 1m 49.6 seconds when the circuit was its driest, Menasheh ran faultlessly throughout the day.
Just four days after the World Series by Renault festival visited the Northamptonshire venue, the 17-year-old and his Derbyshire team focused mainly on wet-weather work and Menasheh is now very confident he can be quick in whichever conditions are thrown at him when the Formula Renault BARC season resumes just over five weeks from now.
“I’m really happy with the work we’ve done, we made some set-up changes and I think we’ve moved forward”, said the Gulf Computer Services, Ortolan and Gulfol supported driver, “It was good to have the rain today as it gave us a great chance to sort out some good wet-weather settings. The way things have been so far this season, we have to be prepared for more rain when the championship continues!”
Taking into consideration all of the factors during today’s test – such as the variety and large number of cars taking part, the conditions and the reality it was Menasheh’s first ever appearance on the GP layout – the erstwhile Formula Renault BARC series leader produced a thoroughly impressive performance.
Hillspeed team boss Richard Ollerenshaw added: “Menasheh did a very good job today, his best time in the driest conditions we had was 1m 49.6 seconds and that was done on old tyres. Even though the track was mainly dry at the point, there were still some damp patches and the kerbs were wet so he couldn’t run a full dry line as he would have liked.
“He seems very comfortable with the wet set-up we’ve worked on at Silverstone. We’re all very happy we’ll be able to show improved performance in wet conditions if it rains at any of the race meetings during the second half of the season. It’s been a good day.”
Rounds six and seven of the 2008 Formula Renault BARC Championship are still just over five weeks away, taking place on 19th/20th July at Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire.