Winter Champions Hillspeed ..

SECOND FASTEST IN CROFT TESTReigning Formula Renault UK Winter Champions Hillspeed enjoyed an encouraging start to the 2008 staging of the four-round series after ending official testing at Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire Friday, 31st October, with the second fastest time.Formula Renault BARC podium finisher Menasheh Idafar, who has graduated to the full UK Class with the Derbyshire team, lapped with a best time of 1m 24.896 seconds (90.11mph) during the third of today’s three sessions to place Hillspeed second only to Manor Competition’s Henry Surtees.Idafar’s fellow Formula Renault UK graduate Michael Lyons, who also competed in Formula Renault BARC with Hillspeed this year, finished his day’s work with a best time of 1m 27.029 seconds (87.90mph). He did unfortunately take the chequered flag earlier than several other drivers, compromising his chances on the drying track.James Theodore, who represents Hillspeed in the BARC Class of the winter series, continued to improve well and he concluded the test as the quickest of the BARC runners with a time of 1m 27.955 seconds (86.97mph).With tomorrow’s action marking the 16-year-old’s second ever car meeting, he will have plenty more to learn but the initial signs from today’s outing are very promising.Speaking after the test, team principal Richard Ollerenshaw said: “It’s been a difficult day in cold and wet conditions, we were up against it after the first couple of sessions but all of our drivers worked hard and Menasheh’s time at the end was very pleasing. “We had timed it perfectly for him to get one final lap after the chequered flag had gone out but they ended the session five seconds earlier than expected – without that, it’s very likely we could have been fastest of all. Second quickest is excellent though and is a good base to start from tomorrow.”Ollerenshaw added: “Mick and James were both unfortunate to take the chequered flag earlier than a lot of other drivers in the final session so they effectively lost time on track when it was at its best. They both worked hard though and we’re all looking forward to seeing what happens in qualifying and the races tomorrow.”Hillspeed was scheduled to field a quartet of drivers this weekend but the squad’s fourth car, due to be driven single-seater rookie Immanuel Bryson-Haynes, was badly damaged during an accident at Snetterton Circuit in Norfolk on Tuesday of this week.Anglo-Australian Bryson-Haynes thankfully emerged relatively unscathed from a frightening barrel-roll at Coram Curve but the impact of the collision, and the resulting cost of the repairs, has ruled him out of this weekend’s racing. The 24-year-old does, however, plan to make his competitive category debut at Rockingham next weekend.

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