Manor Competition’s Menasheh Idafar prepared well for the decisive third and fourth rounds of the 2009 Formula Renault UK Winter Championship during officially timed testing at Rockingham today, Friday, 6th November, the venue for this weekend’s all-important series climax.
Arriving at the Northamptonshire track on Thursday, 5th November, for a full day of general testing, the 18-year-old and his fellow Winter Championship competitors had the benefit of official timing today at the 1.94-mile International Super Sports Car Circuit configuration.
During the first of three 40-minute sessions, Menasheh posted a best lap of 1m30.612 seconds (77.07mph) in wet conditions to secure a top four placing on the timesheets. As the track dried throughout the second run, he was sixth fastest with a time of 1m20.000 seconds (87.29mph) – just 0.282 seconds shy of the outright pace.
The last of today’s outings proved to be the quickest session of the three and the Gulf Computer Services and Ortolan-backed driver was seventh quickest, a lap of 1m16.260 seconds (91.58mph) proving to be his best of the day.
Commenting, the British-born Bahraini said: “Today has been really good. In the last session I pushed a bit too hard too soon on my new tyre run so I didn’t get the best out of them. We lost time there for sure but the car was well balanced so it’s been another solid day, I’m really pleased.”
Ahead of the all-important third and fourth rounds of the winter series, Menasheh is second overall in the championship. During the curtain-raiser at Snetterton, Norfolk, last Saturday, he secured a fine fourth place in race one and backed that result up with a career-best second position in the second encounter – his first ever Formula Renault UK podium. He also posted the fastest race lap.
Qualifying for rounds three and four of the 2009 Formula Renault UK Winter Championship will get underway at 09.55 tomorrow morning, Saturday, 7th November. Race one is scheduled to start at around 12.00 with the second 15-lap encounter – the final round of the winter series – scheduled to follow at 15.00.