UK: Hillspeed Thruxton test summary

IDAFAR, AL HARTHY & LYONS ALL ON TOP FORM AT THRUXTON Official Formula Renault BARC testing at Thruxton Circuit yesterday, Monday, 7th April, saw championship leading entrant Hillspeed continue its hugely impressive form with all three of the ...

IDAFAR, AL HARTHY & LYONS ALL ON TOP FORM AT THRUXTON

Official Formula Renault BARC testing at Thruxton Circuit yesterday, Monday, 7th April, saw championship leading entrant Hillspeed continue its hugely impressive form with all three of the Derbyshire team's drivers ending the day inside the top eight on combined times.

Omani racer Ahmad Al Harthy ended the first of the day's two sessions at the head of the rankings with a great lap of 1m 14.313 seconds (114.13mph) while team-mate, and Formula Renault BARC Championship leader, Menasheh Idafar was third fastest with a best time of 1m 14.458 seconds (113.91mph).

Category rookie Michael Lyons, who just over a week ago climbed onto the podium during the prestigious Derek Bell Trophy meeting at Donington Park at the wheel of an historic Hesketh Formula One car, made the transition back to his contemporary single-seater yesterday in superb style, producing a stand-out performance.

Lapping with a best time of 1m 15.312 seconds (112.61mph) during session one -- the Essex driver's first ever experience of the fearsome Hampshire track -- he went on to improve by seven 10ths of a second during session two to conclude the day eighth overall with a best time of 1m 14.657 seconds (113.60mph).

Idafar, meanwhile, found approximately four 10ths of a second in session two by producing a best lap of 1m 14.070 seconds (114.50mph). Having actually been fastest of all, the British-born Bahraini was pipped to the top spot by just a 10th of a second close to the end of the test when he had already chosen to conclude his day's running.

Al Harthy also improved in session two by a couple of 10ths of a second, his quickest time being a lap of 1m 14.171 seconds (114.35mph). Ending the test fourth overall on combined times, he was just two 10ths of a second away from the top spot he held during the opening 55 minutes of testing.

While Al Harthy and Idafar underlined their front-running pace brilliantly, Lyons' progression throughout the day was particularly outstanding, especially considering he improved substantially without using new tyres.

"It was another fantastic day for us and while Ahmad and Menasheh were superb, I have to say Mick produced the stand-out performance", commented Hillspeed team principal Richard Ollerenshaw.

"Thruxton isn't the easiest of tracks, it takes so much commitment from a driver, and so for Mick to have gone so well on his debut there really was outstanding. We didn't intend on him using new rubber due to it being his first time at the circuit and he was actually the only one of the top seven drivers in the second session to stay on old tyres.

"Menasheh and Ahmad both went out for one run on new tyres and with the weather starting to become quite patchy they decided to call it a day after that. Not only did yesterday's test reinforce the potential of all three of our drivers, it's given us all a major confidence boost ahead of the Rockingham race meeting just under a fortnight away."

Hathersage-based Hillspeed now has several additional unofficial test runs planned during the run-up to the next race meeting, rounds three and four of the season, which will take place at Northamptonshire's Rockingham International Super Sports Car Circuit on 19th/20th April.

-credit: hillspeed.co.uk

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About this article
Series Formula Renault
Drivers Derek Bell , Michael Lyons , Menasheh Idafar , Ahmad Al Harthy
Teams HART