Rockingham in Northamptonshire provided the venue for Menasheh Idafar’s latest test outing at the wheel of his Formula Renault BARC car today, Friday, 6th June, the teenage sensation producing a customary fast and error-free performance.
Driving his Hillspeed run racer, the 17-year-old British-born Bahraini took the opportunity to gain valuable test miles and also made the most of the chance to run without the restrictor plate on his Formula Renault BARC car; giving him an indication of the difference in performance between a BARC specification and UK-spec Formula Renault.
With an eye on graduating to Formula Renault UK in 2009, and with the Formula Renault BARC series currently taking a lengthy break until the sixth and seventh rounds of the season on 19th/20th July, Menasheh used today’s unofficial test run to learn more about what a step-up to the full UK series would entail.
Lapping with a best time of 1m 16.6 seconds, on old tyres, Menasheh’s performance compared very favourably to times of 1m 16.3 seconds which were set by the lead Formula Renault UK runners during testing at Rockingham in similar conditions last year.
“It’s been a good day and I’ve learned a lot about what to expect from a Formula Renault UK car, compared to the BARC car I’m racing this year”, said the Gulfol, Ortolan and Gulf Computer Services supported racer, “It’s important to look ahead to next year and the different opportunities which are there for us to consider.”
While the current Formula Renault BARC cars utilise bodywork which was phased out of the UK series at the end of 2006, today’s testing still gave Menasheh a good grounding in what to expect when he eventually tests a current spec Formula Renault UK car.
Hillspeed driver coach Matt Shawyer added: “The whole day went well for us. Menasheh performed very well and although there were quite a few slower cars on track with it being a general test day, he managed to get some clear space to set a lap of 1m 16.6 seconds on old tyres which was very impressive.
“We chose to run without the BARC restrictor plate today to help give Menasheh an idea of the next level and although he won’t see the full picture until he tests in a full UK spec car, it’s certainly been a good start.”
Currently second overall in the headline FR2000 Class driver standings, Menasheh will now return to his family home in Bahrain ahead of further test outings in the coming weeks in the lead up to the next two rounds of the 2008 Formula Renault BARC season.