Formula Renault BARC Championship front-runner Menasheh Idafar suffered his most disappointing day of the 2008 season at Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire today, Sunday, 20th July – although race winning pace in the first of the weekend’s encounters did underline his undoubted potential.
Concluding the fourth race meeting of the campaign with a double non-score, Menasheh has already put today’s setback behind him and the British-born Bahraini is instead focusing on the next two rounds of the championship which will take place at Snetterton Circuit in Norfolk three weeks from now.
Lining up third on the grid for the first of today’s outings, round six, the 17-year-old had to concede the place on the run to Clervaux for the first time but by the end of the lap he was back into the top three after making a good pass at the hairpin.
Visibly quicker than the two cars ahead, Menasheh started to close in on second placed Johannes Seidlitz and on lap three the Hillspeed ace set a superb lap of 1m 21.410 seconds as he started to assert his presence.
Unfortunately, just two laps later, an attempted overtaking manoeuvre at the chicane didn’t work out and Menasheh made contact with the rear of Seidlitz. Working miracles to race on to a hard-earned third place finish with a broken front-wing, Menasheh later had the result taken away as a result of the lap five collision.
The outcome was all the more disappointing when considering the fact the Gulfol, Ortolan and Gulf Computer Services backed driver achieved the second fastest race lap overall, proof if it were needed he unquestionably had the pace to fight for the win.
Round seven promised much with Menasheh starting the race on pole position but his luck didn’t improve for the weekend’s second race when he was forced to retire at the first corner having led away from the grid. On the outside at the entry to Clervaux, his car was tagged from behind and the impact was enough to put him into the gravel.
Bitterly disappointed to conclude the weekend taking away just one championship point, his reward for taking the round seven pole position, Menasheh knows the title has moved further out of reach but he aims to continue challenging just as hard when the series resumes in early August at Snetterton Circuit in Norfolk.
“I expected much more from this weekend, especially after we were so quick in testing and qualifying, but I have to accept what has happened and learn from it”, commented Menasheh, “We know we have the pace to be at the front and win races so I need to put today behind me and concentrate on the rest of the season.”
Rounds eight and nine of the 2008 Formula Renault BARC Championship will take place three weeks from now on Saturday, 9th August, at Snetterton Circuit near Thetford.