Hillspeed Enjoys Strong ...

SNETTERTON & DONINGTON TEST RUNS Leading Formula Renault BARC Championship team Hillspeed completed yet more test mileage this week with visits to Snetterton Circuit in Norfolk on Tuesday, 22nd July, and Donington Park in the East Midlands  Thursday, 24th July.The Hathersage based squad fielded cars for regular drivers Menasheh Idafar and Ahmad Al Harthy on Tuesday while also introducing Menasheh’s younger brother, Ezra, to a UK race track for the first time in the team’s test car.Lapping in 1m 08.07 seconds, Menasheh produced a strong performance at Snetterton, the venue for the eighth and ninth rounds of the 2008 Formula Renault BARC season, to bounce back superbly well from the disappointment of the Croft race meeting last weekend where he came away with a double non-score.Al Harthy – arriving in Norfolk off the back of a career best second place finish during round six at Croft on Sunday – did an equally superb job and managed a great time of 1m 08.35 seconds on old tyres.For young British-born Bahraini Ezra Idafar, the Snetterton outing marked his first ever run at the wheel of a Formula Renault BARC car and also his maiden experience of the 1.95-mile circuit. Impressing Hillspeed team boss Richard Ollerenshaw with his raw skill and application, Ezra enjoyed a highly promising debut.Speaking on the Snetterton test, Ollerenshaw said: “Menasheh did well, we’re confident he can lap comfortably inside the 1m 07 second bracket when we return. His performance was the perfect way to bounce back from Croft – he was 0.15 seconds quicker than he’s ever been before around Snetterton and there’s more to come.“Ahmad was on top form, running very strongly. After the summer break, he came back and in testing since he’s been outstanding. The race result on Sunday proved how well he’s driving at the minute and on Tuesday he did another great job. With old rubber he was still extremely competitive which bodes very well for the next race meeting.”At Donington Park yesterday, the Idafar brothers both took to the track with Menasheh lapping in a best time of 1m 09.66 seconds on used tyres – just three 10ths of a second shy of the 2006 Formula Renault BARC pole position lap at the track.Younger sibling Ezra, meanwhile, thoroughly enjoyed only his second ever run in an FR 2.0 car and once more surprised Hillspeed with his ability. Running well throughout a very busy general test day at Donington, Ezra coped admirably and certainly impressed those looking on.“Ezra has done an outstanding job with such limited running”, said Ollerenshaw, “He certainly hasn’t disgraced himself at all. He drove very well, listened to what the team told him and put it into practice. Reflecting on the two days at Snetterton and Donington, it’s impossible to say anything other than positive things about his performance.“It was very busy on track at Donington, there were F3 cars and even an LMP1 sportscar car out there, but Ezra coped brilliantly. Considering it was only his second ever run in a Formula Renault BARC car and his first time on track at Donington, he was outstanding.”

Lyons competing in Silverstone Classic this weekendThe third of Hillspeed’s regular drivers, Michael Lyons, didn’t take part in either of this week’s general test days in his Formula Renault BARC car as he has instead been preparing for this weekend’s prestigious Silverstone Classic event – the new name for the Coys International Historic Festival.Competing in the historic Formula One race at the wheel of his glorious Hesketh 308E, the 17-year-old Felsted racer is also poised to drive alongside his father Frank Lyons in the World Sportscar encounter. Returning to Formula Renault BARC, the eighth and ninth rounds of the 2008 season will take place just over a fortnight from now on Saturday, 9th August, at Snetterton Circuit in Norfolk. Before then, Hillspeed is expecting to conduct further tests next week.Provisional 2008 Formula Renault BARC Championship Standings (after Rd7):=3rd Menasheh Idafar & Isa Yousif Mohammed, 48pts; 6th Ahmad Al Harthy, 34pts; 13th Michael Lyons, 8pts

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