UK Winter: Manor Competition driver line-up

STRONG WINTER SERIES LINE-UP REVEALED BY MANOR COMPETITION With exactly two weeks remaining until the 2009 Formula Renault UK Winter Championship gets underway at Snetterton in Norfolk, Manor Competition is delighted to confirm it will field an...

STRONG WINTER SERIES LINE-UP REVEALED BY MANOR COMPETITION

With exactly two weeks remaining until the 2009 Formula Renault UK Winter Championship gets underway at Snetterton in Norfolk, Manor Competition is delighted to confirm it will field an exciting four-car line up.

Bidding to add the 2009 winter title to the main Michelin Formula Renault UK driver's crown the squad won with McLaren Autosport BRDC Award finalist Dean Smith at the start of the month, the New Ollerton-based team will benefit from the consistency of retaining David McDonald and Thomas Hylkema alongside Manor newcomers Menasheh Idafar and Robert Foster-Jones.

Ewell 19-year-old McDonald improved markedly throughout his debut season in Formula Renault UK this year, achieving three top four finishes and six other top 10 results en-route to 12th overall in the championship. He actually deserved to end the year in the coveted top 10 and was on course to do so, but a huge qualifying accident during the season finale at Brands Hatch hampered his chances.

Dutch racer Hylkema, who hails from Maarn in The Netherlands, showed great flashes of pace throughout the main championship but a heavy dose of misfortune didn't allow the 21-year-old to fully show what he is capable of. Ending the season 16th in the driver standings, a career best top six finish during the penultimate event at Rockingham proved the speed and ability is definitely there.

British-born Bahraini Menasheh Idafar makes his competitive return to Formula Renault action with Manor Competition having called time on his involvement in the main 2009 championship with another outfit after the seventh race meeting of the season. Having already impressed during his maiden test appearances with the team, the 18-year-old has high hopes for a consistent campaign.

Karting star Robert Foster-Jones makes the step-up to car racing with Manor from the ranks of the B4/Renault MSA Formula KF1 British Championship where he is currently in contention for the 2009 title -- the decider taking place this Sunday, 18th October, at Fulbeck in Lincolnshire.

The 18-year-old, from Southend-on-Sea, has won numerous championships at the highest level and brings with him a huge reputation not dissimilar to that of Alexander Sims who Manor took to the Vice-Champion's spot in the 2008 Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship before he went on to win that year's McLaren Autosport BRDC Award.

Commenting on the newly confirmed winter series line-up, team co-owner Tony Shaw said: "We're very, very happy indeed to have secured such a strong four-car squad. We've managed to carry forward consistency from the main championship with David and Thomas while also bringing some fresh faces into the Manor fold with Menasheh and Robert.

"Testing with David, Thomas and Menasheh has been very promising so far while Robert will run with us for the first time next week when he's concluded his commitments in karting. After such a strong championship-winning season this year, we're really looking forward to the winter series."

Manor's quartet will test throughout the next fortnight during the build-up to the opening two races of the 2009 Formula Renault UK Winter Championship which will take place at Snetterton in Norfolk on Saturday, 31st October. Rockingham in Northamptonshire is set to host the finale a week later on Saturday, 7th November.

-credit: manorcompetition.com

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About this article
Series Formula Renault
Drivers Robert Foster , Dean Smith , Thomas Hylkema , Alexander Sims , Menasheh Idafar , David McDonald