Day two of official Formula Renault UK Championship testing at Rockingham International Super Sports Car Circuit came to an early conclusion for Menasheh Idafar this afternoon, Wednesday, 25th February, when an unfortunate accident curtailed his running.
The British-born Bahraini made good progress throughout the three-hour morning session to lap within a 10th of a second of the best time he has ever managed at the Northamptonshire track. Today’s effort of 1m 16.027 seconds (91.86mph) placed him 15th overall on the timing screens and seventh fastest of the ‘Graduate Cup’ runners.
Lapping just over a second shy of Formula Renault UK race winner, and second-year category front-runner, Dean Stoneman’s leading time this morning, Menasheh was hopeful of good gains during the afternoon after working closely with his Hillspeed team to unlock more speed from himself and the car.
Just three laps into the second session though, the 17-year-old had an accident which resulted in damage to the nose of his car and the steering rack. Disappointed to end his day’s running that way, Menasheh was nonetheless pleased with the progress the team made with the feel and handling of his FR 2.0 single-seater.
“Everything was well placed for Menasheh to improve his times nicely this afternoon but the accident meant an early end to the day”, explained Hillspeed driver coach Matt Shawyer, “In the first session he performed well and was just a 10th of a second outside the best time he’d previously done at Rockingham and just over a second slower than (Dean) Stoneman.
“Menasheh was happy with the feel of the car. This morning he was seven 10ths of a second quicker than his Tuesday time and confident of closing the gap to the front quite a bit this afternoon. It’s a shame to end the test with a small accident but we’re looking forward to Brands Hatch now next week.”
The second officially timed test of the Formula Renault UK pre-season takes place on Tuesday, 3rd March, and Wednesday, 4th March, at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in Kent.