Formula Renault BARC Championship leader Menasheh Idafar continued to prove his undoubted credentials during official testing at Thruxton Circuit yesterday, Monday, 7th April, by ending the outing second quickest overall on combined times.
With testing at the ultra-fast Hampshire venue severely restricted throughout the year, yesterday’s run was a perfect opportunity to gain some vital mileage before the category’s visit to the track for round 10 of the season in early September.
Lapping strongly during the opening 55 minute session with a best time of 1m 14.458 seconds (113.91mph) to go third fastest, the 17-year-old Hillspeed driver improved by just under four 10ths of a second during session two to actually head the timesheets.
With flurries of snow in the air and conditions worsening as the second session progressed, Menasheh opted to curtail his day’s action early after just one run on new tyres which served up a best time of 1m 14.070 (114.50mph) seconds.
As the British-born Bahraini sat out the final part of the test, rival Nathan Coulter was able to lap marginally quicker – under a 10th of a second to be precise. Nonetheless, Menasheh was delighted to conclude the official test run second fastest overall and is confident he will be strong at the Thruxton race meeting five months from now.
The Gulfol, Ortolan and Gulf Computer Services backed driver said: “I really enjoyed the test, we were quick once again and I think we have a good set-up for the Thruxton races later in the year. The car felt great, the team is working really hard and we’re all feeling very confident. I couldn’t be happier with our performance.”
While Menasheh has further test outings planned, his next headline event will be the third and fourth rounds of the 2008 Formula Renault BARC season at Rockingham International Super Sports Car Circuit in Northamptonshire on 19th/20th April.
Having started only his second season of racing in the UK with two outstanding podium results at Brands Hatch in Kent a fortnight ago in very tricky conditions, Menasheh has high hopes of consolidating his lead at the top of the championship standings when racing resumes less than two weeks from now.
He added: “I’m really looking forward to the Rockingham races. We’ve gone well there in testing and I’m sure we’ll be able to achieve some good results. It will be very tough to maintain the lead in the championship but I’m focused on scoring as many points as I can. It would be nice to win but if we can be on the podium again I’ll be very happy.”
Provisionally, qualifying for the third and fourth rounds of the Formula Renault BARC season will take place on Saturday, 19th April, at 10.15 and 13.15. Both 14 lap races are timetabled to take place on Sunday, 20th April, at 11.25 and 15.40.