First year Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship racer Menasheh Idafar bounced back from an unfortunate spin during the ninth round of the season at Croft in North Yorkshire yesterday, Saturday, 13th June, to salvage a points-scoring finish on what proved to be a fairly luckless day.
Qualifying with the 18th fastest time of 1m18.072 seconds (97.98mph) for round nine, just half a second outside the top 10, Menasheh was confident of an improvement during the round 10 session but a broken rear wishbone, suspension pick-up and damaged wheel rim – the result of contact with the equally unfortunate Jordan Oakes – limited his pace and he ended up 18th quickest again.
At the start of round nine, the 18-year-old was forced slightly wide at Clervaux and therefore lost a position on the run through Hawthorn but into Tower Bend he moved back into 18th place when Oakes ran off the circuit into retirement.
In the middle of a very tight scrap involving three or four cars, Menasheh found himself squeezed wide once again, this time at the exit of the hairpin on lap three, and after recovering onto the track he was in 20th place.
By lap six, the Hillspeed youngster was back into 18th and looking to make continued progress as he fought in a closely matched group of cars all queuing up behind David McDonald in 16th position, the latter struggling with a broken front wing. On lap eight though, a spin for Menasheh as he exited the hairpin meant he fell down the order out of the points.
Mounting a good recovery, the Ortolan and Gulf Computer Services backed racer did manage to climb back into the top 20 before the finish on lap 15 to at least claim a championship point and he now hopes for a more straightforward outing in-front of the live TV cameras this afternoon, Sunday, 14th June, during round 10.
Hillspeed’s Matt Shawyer commented: “It’s been another frustrating and very unlucky day for Menasheh and the team but we’re determined to have a better run during Sunday’s race. It’ll be tough starting on the ninth row again but with a little better luck we stand a decent chance of a fair result and some reasonable championship points.”
The 10th round of the 2009 Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship is expected to get underway at around 13.50 today and will be broadcast live on ITV4 – Freeview channel 28, cable channel 117 and Sky Digital channel 120.