AFTER THRUXTON TESTMenasheh Idafar will be aiming for an improvement during the third and fourth rounds of the 2009 Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship at Thruxton 10 days from now, 25th/26th April, after a tricky time during official testing at the Hampshire track yesterday.
The 18-year-old, who heads into the second race meeting of the season fifth in the Graduate Cup standings and equal 14th in the overall championship table, embarked on Tuesday’s official pre-race test full of hope for a good run but a perceived engine issue resulted in a lack of straight-line speed.
During the opening session, the Hillspeed driver lapped with a best time of 1m 11.365 seconds (118.84mph) – just under half a second shy of the overall top 10 – while in the second outing he almost matched his earlier time with a lap of 1m 11.693 seconds (118.30mph), even with the engine problem.
“Menasheh did a great job and we completed a lot of very important set-up work on the car, in fact everything we had planned”, said Hillspeed’s Richard Ollerenshaw, “Unfortunately though, his car was losing several miles per hour in a straight-line to those of his rivals so we think there could well be a problem with the engine. We’re working closely with Renault to address the issue.”
As the fastest circuit on the 2009 Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship calendar, Thruxton is a unique venue and always demands huge commitment from the competitors. While Menasheh’s efforts during yesterday’s test weren’t rewarded in terms of lap times, he has certainly prepared well for the upcoming rounds of the championship which he is looking forward to greatly.
Qualifying for rounds three and four of the 2009 Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship will take place at 09.00 and 14.00 respectively on Saturday, 25th April, with the first race of the weekend following at 17.35.
Round four – which will be screened live on ITV4 in the UK – is set to begin at 15.20 on Sunday, 26th April. Freeview viewers can tune-in to the action at channel 28, cable subscribers can watch the racing on channel 117 and Sky Digital customers will be able to watch the Sunday race on channel 120.
Provisional 2009 Formula Renault UK Championship Positions (after Rd2)1st James Calado, 54pts; 2nd Oli Webb, 50pts; =14th Menasheh Idafar & Ollie Hancock, 13pts
Provisional 2009 Formula Renault UK ‘Graduate Cup’ Positions (after Rd2)1st Will Stevens, 26pts; 2nd Matias Laine, 19pts; 5th Menasheh Idafar, 14pts