Formula Renault UK racer Menasheh Idafar produced the best wet-weather testing performance of his career at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit this afternoon, Wednesday, 25th March, by emerging as the fastest ‘Graduate Cup’ runner in the rain-affected final session.
Continuing the great form he showed on the Northamptonshire venue’s shorter National Circuit layout yesterday, Tuesday, 24th March, the 18-year-old had no problem adapting to the Grand Prix configuration and ended the day an excellent 10th overall on combined times.
Menasheh’s best lap, 1m 48.381 seconds (106.08mph), came during session two which was the fastest of the day’s four testing periods. Just seven 10ths of a second away from the top of the times on the 3.2-mile track, the British-born Bahraini also ended the final official test of the pre-season as the second fastest Graduate Cup driver overall.
In the rain-affected fourth session, however, Menasheh was the quickest of the drivers eligible for this year’s Graduate Cup by two 10ths of a second. His time of 2m 10.463 seconds (88.13mph) placed him ninth on the timesheets with a total of 26 competitors taking part.
“Much like yesterday, Menasheh was in very good form today on the full Grand Prix track and he was inspired in the wet conditions during the afternoon where he was the fastest of the Graduate Cup drivers – an excellent result”, said Hillspeed’s Richard Ollerenshaw.
“It’s been a very good day once again and a big confidence boost ahead of the opening event of the season just over a week from now at Brands Hatch. In the dry second session, he was equally strong with the 10th fastest time so we’re all feeling positive ahead of the start of the season just over a week from now.”
All attention now turns to the first two races of the 2009 Formula Renault UK Championship which will take place at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in Kent next weekend, 4th/5th April, as support to the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship.
Pre-event practice will be held on Friday, 3rd April, with round one qualifying scheduled to take place at 09.25 on Saturday, 4th April, and the round two session expected to follow at approximately 14.40.
Both races are timetabled for Sunday, 5th April, at 10.00 and 15.40 respectively with the second encounter expected to be screened live in the UK on ITV4 as part of the BTCC television package. ITV4 can be accessed via channel 28 on Freeview, cable channel 117 and through channel 120 on the Sky digital platform.