Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship rookie Menasheh Idafar heads into Sunday’s seventh and eighth rounds of the 2009 season at Oulton Park Island Circuit hoping for a major turn-around in fortune after two very difficult qualifying sessions earlier today, Saturday, 30th May.
Arriving at the Cheshire venue this morning confident of a good day after a positive test run on Friday, the 18-year-old wasn’t able to replicate the same pace and in the round seven session he posted a best lap of 1m19.643 seconds (100.61mph), placing him on the 11th row of the grid for the first of tomorrow’s races.
During the round eight session, Menasheh did manage to improve by around six 10ths of a second on his best lap from the first outing to post a time of 1m19.057 seconds (101.36mph). Securing a ninth row slot for round eight, his time was just a second shy of the pole position lap posted by championship title contender Dean Smith.
With two difficult 15 lap races awaiting the Hillspeed driver tomorrow afternoon, Sunday, 31st May, team principal Richard Ollerenshaw is keeping a positive frame of mind as Menasheh has shown in the past he is capable of good results at the challenging Oulton Park Island layout.
Ollerenshaw said: “It’s fair to say today wasn’t Menasheh’s best but qualifying is over now and we need to look ahead to what we can do in the races. Obviously he’s better placed on the grid for race two, if he can push forward anywhere close to the top 10 it’ll be a fantastic effort. Hopefully we’ll see a couple of strong races from Menasheh and he’ll be able to grab some championship points.”
The seventh round of the 2009 Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship is timetabled to start at 12.55 tomorrow, Sunday, 31st May, with round eight getting underway at around 17.50. The first of the two races will also be screened live on Freeview, cable and digital satellite channel ITV4.