British-born Bahraini Menasheh Idafar produced a superb effort on his full Formula Renault UK debut at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in Kent today, Saturday, 4th April, by securing a top six start for Sunday’s second round of the 2009 season.
Qualifying as the quickest of the drivers eligible for the ‘Graduate Cup’ for rookie competitors, the 18-year-old Hillspeed racer was just two 10ths of a second shy of pole position in the round two session after posting a terrific time of 44.347 seconds (97.30mph).
During the first of the day’s qualifying periods, which determined the grid for tomorrow’s opening race of the new championship campaign, the outcome was something of a lottery with drizzle and damp conditions making tyre choice very difficult.
Menasheh ran on wet-weather tyres and produced a time of 47.339 seconds (91.15mph) which placed him 18th on the timesheets. Although disappointed with the eventual placing, the second qualifying session certainly put a smile back on the teenager’s face!
Commenting, Hillspeed’s Richard Ollerenshaw said: “Menasheh did a fantastic job today, the first qualifying session was very difficult due to the conditions and it turned into a real lottery. In the second run this afternoon though, he was on the pace straight away. Posting the sixth best time, and the best of any of the Graduate Cup drivers, was an outstanding effort – we’re delighted.”
Round one of the eagerly anticipated 2009 Formula Renault UK Championship is timetabled to begin the raceday action at 10.00 tomorrow, Sunday, 5th April, with round two scheduled to follow at around 15.45. Race two will be screened live on ITV4 which is available through Freeview channel 28, at channel 120 on Sky Digital and via cable channel 117.