Teenage racer Menasheh Idafar will remain with Derbyshire based team Hillspeed for his graduation to Formula Renault UK just over three weeks from now, the British-born Bahraini having officially confirmed his participation in the 2008 winter series.
The 17-year-old, who has competed in the Formula Renault BARC Championship for the past two seasons, will make his competitive debut in a current specification Formula Renault UK car during the opening two rounds of the 2008 Winter Championship at Croft Circuit, North Yorkshire, on Saturday, 1st November.
As part of his preparations for the four-race winter series, Menasheh tested the car at Rockingham in Northamptonshire – the venue for rounds three and four – yesterday, Thursday, 9th October, and today, Friday, 10th October.
Lapping with an unofficially timed best of 1m 15.8 seconds this afternoon, the Hillspeed racer is thought to have concluded the day as the fastest of the Formula Renault UK drivers on track, to the delight of his team. Such was his pace today, Menasheh’s time would have put him on the front row of the grid at Rockingham back in April for the third round of the 2008 Formula Renault UK season.
On Thursday, Menasheh produced a lap of 1m 16.3 seconds which was believed to be around three 10ths of a second outside the fastest of the day. All in all, the teenager enjoyed two outstanding days at the venue’s International Super Sports Car Circuit.
Team principal Richard Ollerenshaw said: “We’ve had an excellent two days, Menasheh proved to be very quick indeed in UK specification and now the new car has had time to bed in more the times are coming. Today truly was a fantastic performance and it all bodes well for the Winter Championship.”
The Ortolan, Gulfol and Gulf Computer Services backed driver first ran with Hillspeed in the 2007 winter series at the wheel of a BARC-specification car. Instantly impressing, he achieved a brace of second place finishes in his class before going on to become a regular front-runner during the main Formula Renault BARC Championship this year.
Following the opening two races of the 2008 Formula Renault UK Winter Championship at Croft, near Darlington, on Saturday, 1st November, rounds three and four of the series will take place at Rockingham, near Corby, on Saturday, 8th November.