British-born Bahraini racing driver Menasheh Idafar continued his impressive Formula Renault UK pre-season at Snetterton Circuit in Norfolk today, Wednesday, 11th March, during the first of two officially timed days at the Norfolk track.
As more than 30 cars took to the 1.95-mile circuit, 17-year-old Menasheh ended day one with a quickest time of 1m 05.316 seconds (107.58mph) which placed him 15th overall on the timesheets. He was also the fifth fastest of the rookie drivers eligible to challenge for the 2009 Graduate Cup.
Concluding the four hour morning session with a best lap of 1m 05.639 seconds (107.05mph) the Hillspeed racer headed into the lunch break with the 14th fastest time. At that point, Menasheh was also the fourth quickest Graduate Cup runner – less than four 10ths of a second shy of Thomas Hylkema in eighth place overall.
Improving by three 10ths of a second in the afternoon with his 1m 05.316 second lap, the former Formula Renault BARC podium finisher was just half a second shy of the fastest Graduate Cup driver of the day, Finnish racer Matias Laine, who was fourth on overall times – proof, if it were needed, of just how competitive the 2009 championship is set to be.
Speaking on the day’s action, Hillspeed team principal Richard Ollerenshaw said: “We’re very happy indeed with Menasheh’s performance. He was only just over 0.15 seconds away from the top 10 which was a very pleasing effort. We’re certainly looking forward to tomorrow.”
Menasheh and Hillspeed will be back in action at Snetterton tomorrow, Thursday, 12th March, for the second day of official Formula Renault UK testing at the Norfolk track.