Hillspeed’s Menasheh Idafar thoroughly dominated officially timed Formula Renault BARC testing at Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire yesterday, Tuesday, 22nd April, the teenager ending the day almost eight 10ths of a second faster than his nearest rival.
The British-born Bahraini ace, backed in 2008 by Middle Eastern companies Ortolan, Gulf Computer Services and Gulfol, produced a quickest time of 1m 20.811 seconds (94.66mph) during the dry and sunny three and a half hour morning session, placing him over half a second clear of team-mate Ahmad Al Harthy.
In the afternoon, Menasheh improved by six 10ths of a second with a lap of 1m 20.255 seconds (95.31mph) to end the day an outstanding 0.752 seconds quicker than his nearest challenger. Furthermore, the 17-year-old was only a second adrift of drivers in full Formula Renault UK specification cars which were also present at the circuit.
“The Croft test went very well and it was great to be so much quicker than our nearest rivals”, said Menasheh, “It’s been a fantastic start to the season for us so far and we made some great preparations yesterday for the Croft races in July. The team is doing a brilliant job and I have to thank them for all of their hard work.”
Hillspeed’s driver coach, British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) Rising Star Matt Shawyer, added: “Menasheh’s times were excellent, he did a fantastic job and ended the test almost eight 10ths of a second quicker than the next BARC driver. I’d be very surprised if anybody can match that speed when we come back to race at Croft later in the year.”
At Rockingham over the weekend, Menasheh continued his 100 per cent record of finishing on the Formula Renault BARC podium in every race so far this season by taking a brace of third places at the Northamptonshire venue. Ahead of the fifth round of the championship he is second in the driver standings, just six points shy of the lead.
Oulton Park Island Circuit in Cheshire will host round five of the 2008 season just under five weeks from now on Spring Bank Holiday Monday, 26th May.