Oulton Park Island Circuit in Cheshire played host to the fourth official test of the 2009 Formula Renault UK pre-season today, Wednesday, 18th March, with Menasheh Idafar continuing his solid championship build-up.
The British-born Bahraini, who celebrated his 18th birthday last Friday, produced a best time of 1m 19.412 seconds (100.91mph) during the morning session which placed him a highly respectable 11th fastest at that point.
Unfortunately for the Gulfol, Ortolan and Gulf Computer Services backed driver, he wasn’t able to get a run on new tyres during the afternoon as his participation in the second session was cut short following an enforced excursion into the gravel – the result of a failed bolt on the rear upright of his car’s suspension causing a puncture.
The Hillspeed team worked hard to repair his car during the final hour of the test but just ran out of time. Although unable to try and improve his day’s best with the benefit of fresh rubber, the net result means Menasheh will have an extra set of tyres at his disposal for next week’s two day official test at Silverstone in Northamptonshire.
Commenting, Hillspeed team principal Richard Ollerenshaw said: “The day started very well indeed for us, Menasheh was in great shape this morning and to end the session 11th fastest was very impressive.
“It’s a shame he didn’t get a chance to try and improve this afternoon due to the puncture and subsequent visit to the gravel trap but what it does mean is that Menasheh now has an extra set of new tyres which we can use during next week’s test if we wish. All in all, we’re very pleased with the work we completed at Oulton today.”
The final official test of the Formula Renault UK Championship pre-season will take place over two days next week, Tuesday, 24th March, and Wednesday, 25th March, at Silverstone Circuit in Northamptonshire.
On day one, the National Circuit layout – which will host rounds 15 and 16 of the 2009 championship – will be utilised while on the second day competitors will switch to the Grand Prix track configuration, the venue for the 11th and 12th rounds of the campaign.