TOP FOUR 'GRADUATE CUP' FINISH FOR DWYER AT CROFT Huddersfield's Lee Dwyer produced a very competitive showing during round 10 of the Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship at Croft in North Yorkshire on Sunday, 14th June, to secure 13th ...
TOP FOUR 'GRADUATE CUP' FINISH FOR DWYER AT CROFT
Huddersfield's Lee Dwyer produced a very competitive showing during round 10 of the Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship at Croft in North Yorkshire on Sunday, 14th June, to secure 13th position overall and fourth place in the 'Graduate Cup' battle for Hathersage-based Hillspeed.
The 18-year-old, who is taking part in his maiden season of action in the country's top junior, single-seater championship, fought tooth and nail with reigning Formula Renault BARC Champion Ollie Hancock during the closing stages of the race but in the end wasn't quite able to find a way through. In turn, Dwyer did keep the vastly more experienced Jordan Oakes at bay.
During Saturday's ninth round of the season, Dwyer's race ended almost before it had started when a multi-car tangle on the first lap at the chicane resulted in the youngster spinning off the track into the tyre barriers on the outside of the circuit.
Bitterly disappointing for driver and team, Dwyer at least kept hold of 16th position overall in the main driver standings and fourth in the Graduate Cup although he did have to be taken to the circuit medical centre with concussion and the team faced a race against time to repair his badly damaged car ahead of race two.
For 18-year-old team-mate Menasheh Idafar, in round nine he ran inside the top 18 early on but a tight four-car battle on lap three ended with him being forced onto the infield grass on the exit of the hairpin. He did get back into 18th place but a subsequent spin meant he fell out of the points-paying positions. Before the end on lap 15, he managed to retrieve a top 20 spot.
Sunday's 10th round provided an improved 17th place finish, worth four championship points, which means Idafar remains on the fringe of the top 20 in the driver standings and is also eighth overall in the Graduate Cup standings for inexperienced first-year drivers.
Commenting on the weekend, Hillspeed's team principal Richard Ollerenshaw said: "It's been quite a frustrating weekend as we did arrive at Croft quite confident of getting both cars in the top 15 in qualifying and then with the chance to challenge for top 12 or maybe even top 10 finishes.
"We had some misfortune in qualifying, particularly for Menasheh in the second session when contact with another car caused damage to his left-rear suspension. In the races, Lee was incredibly unlucky to be involved in the accident at the chicane in the first one but his drive in race two was impressive and he showed he has the pace to run competitively in this championship."
Ollerenshaw added: "Menasheh was disappointed, as we all were, that he didn't have a better run but we'll keep working hard at the Snetterton test in a couple of weeks and then aim for a strong outing during the Silverstone races at the start of July."
Hillspeed's next track action will come with two days of official testing at Snetterton Circuit in Norfolk on Wednesday, 24th June, and Thursday, 25th June, involving the team's Formula Renault UK squad on both days and the Formula Renault BARC drivers on day two.
The Formula Renault BARC line-up of Ahmad Al Harthy, James Theodore and Ellis Harkins will then remain at Snetterton for the second and third rounds of the 2009 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship over the weekend 27th/28th June.
Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship action will then resume one week later, 4th/5th July, at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit for the 11th and 12th rounds of the season alongside the World Series by Renault. For the past few years the event has attracted one of the largest numbers of spectators to any car racing event in the UK, second only to the Formula One British Grand Prix.
Provisional 2009 Formula Renault UK Driver Standings (after Rd10): 16th Lee Dwyer, 58pts; 21st Menasheh Idafar, 40pts
Provisional 2009 Formula Renault UK 'Graduate Cup' Standings (after Rd10): 4th Lee Dwyer, 58pts; 8th Menasheh Idafar, 40pts