Just 18 hours after completing the fifth round of the 2008 Formula Renault BARC season at Oulton Park in Cheshire, British-born Bahraini Menasheh Idafar got back behind the wheel of his Hillspeed-run car today, Tuesday, 27th May, for an important test session at Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire.
With the weather serving up mixed conditions throughout the day, the 17-year-old had the opportunity to hone his skills in the dry and the wet during a test which could prove to be absolutely crucial as part of his preparations for the sixth and seventh rounds of the campaign at Croft almost eight weeks from now on 19th/20th July.
Producing yet another faultless performance today, Menasheh lapped the 2.12-mile track with a best time of 1m 20.3 seconds while using old tyres. Taking into account his best ever lap at the circuit is just a 10th of a second faster when using new rubber, the Gulfol, Ortolan and Gulf Computer Services backed driver ended the test very happy.
Hillspeed’s driver coach, British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) Rising Star Matt Shawyer, said: “It’s been a very good day, both when taking into consideration Menasheh’s actual driving and also the fact the conditions were so mixed which enabled him to get the full experience of Croft in the wet and the dry. We’re delighted with his performance.
“We had a few dry sessions to begin, then it was wet and then we had an intermediate session towards the end. He did very well in the changeable conditions and managed a best time of 1m 20.3 seconds on old tyres – the best he’s ever been around Croft before is 1m 20.2 seconds on new tyres so that all bodes very well for the races in July.”
Flying back to his home in Bahrain tomorrow evening, Menasheh is set to switch from his 2.0-litre Formula Renault BARC racing car to kart power this coming weekend at the Dubai Kartdrome. Joining his 15-year-old brother Ezra Idafar, the pair will take part in the prestigious 2008 Nivea For Men 24 hour Endurance Kart Challenge.
With the next two rounds of the Formula Renault BARC Championship not taking place until 19th/20th July, Menasheh plans to undertake more testing with his Hillspeed team during June and July although no firm dates have yet been set in stone.