Menasheh Idafar was in terrific form during the second of two days of official Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship testing at Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire this week, the 18-year-old ending up as the second fastest of the category’s Graduate Cup drivers.
During today’s outing, Thursday, 7th May, the 18-year-old was impressive throughout the four sessions and ended the day 11th fastest on combined times and the second best of the drivers eligible for this season’s Graduate Cup – a championship within a championship for series rookies.
Posting his best time of the two days during the final 45 minutes of testing this afternoon, Menasheh produced a lap of 1m 17.871 seconds (98.24mph) to go ninth fastest in the session – around four 10ths of a second quicker than his previous fastest time from the first outing of the day which, at that point, placed him ninth on the timesheets also.
On the opening day of the test, Wednesday, 6th May, Menasheh was the quickest of Hillspeed’s drivers in the morning with a time of 1m 19.189 seconds (96.60mph). In session two, he improved his time by three 10ths of a second to lap in 1m 18.810 seconds (97.07mph).
Hillspeed team principal Richard Ollerenshaw commented: “Menasheh was exceptionally fast today, he only needed seven laps in which to do his best time in the last session and to end up as the second fastest Graduate Cup runner was a display of his true potential in Formula Renault UK.
“Our intention as a team on day one was to work hard on varying set-ups to learn as much as possible ahead of the race meeting at Croft in mid-June, today’s run was where we strived for fast times. Menasheh worked incredibly hard once again and performed very well indeed.”
Donington Park next on the calendar for Idafar
Menasheh’s next race action will come just over a week from now, 16th/17th May, at Donington Park in Leicestershire with the fifth and sixth rounds of the Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship.
Currently 15th overall in the main driver standings, and sixth in the Graduate Cup points table, the Ortolan and Gulf Computer Services backed racer has had a good start to his first season in the UK’s most competitive single-seater series and is hoping for two consistent finishes at Donington’s National Circuit the weekend after next to continue his season on the right path.
Official pre-event practice for the third event of the 2009 campaign will take place on Thursday, 14th May, at Donington with qualifying for rounds five and six of the Formula Renault UK Championship following on Saturday, 16th May, at 10.35 and 15.25 respectively.
On raceday, Sunday, 17th May, round five will begin at 10.30 and round six – which will be screened live in the UK on Freeview, cable and digital satellite channel ITV4 – is expected to start at 16.20.