HILLSPEED LOOKING AHEAD TO OULTON AFTER DONINGTON DISAPPOINTMENT Lee Dwyer and Menasheh Idafar both had a relatively luckless weekend at Donington Park during the third race meeting of the 2009 Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship, the ...
HILLSPEED LOOKING AHEAD TO OULTON AFTER DONINGTON DISAPPOINTMENT
Lee Dwyer and Menasheh Idafar both had a relatively luckless weekend at Donington Park during the third race meeting of the 2009 Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship, the Hillspeed duo disappointed not to have consolidated their respective positions in the driver standings.
For round five on Sunday, 17th May, 18-year-old Idafar lined up a very impressive sixth on the grid following an excellent run in the opening qualifying session on Saturday where he posted a time of 1m06.326 seconds (106.23mph) -- just four 10ths of a second shy of pole position and the best of the Graduate Cup runners.
At the start of the first race, Idafar got away from the grid fairly well but a moment at the first corner resulted in him losing a lot of ground and he then pitted at the end of the opening lap in order for the team to check the car.
Emerging from the pits a lap down, Idafar finished the race outside the points but he did manage to post the fastest lap of any of the Graduate Cup runners with a time of 1m06.340 seconds (106.21mph) -- just half a second outside the quickest lap of all -- proving the capability of the car.
Dwyer, meanwhile, started round five in 19th position -- the youngster running on a very tight budget where tyre usage is concerned -- but he made decent headway during the first half of the race and was 15th as the 16 lap encounter reached mid-distance. Edging into 14th place before the finish, the Huddersfield teenager was the fifth best Graduate Cup contender.
For round six, the drivers all had to start on wet-weather tyres due to an earlier shower of rain which made track conditions, especially off line, very tricky indeed. Like Idafar in the opening encounter, Dwyer was caught up at the first corner and the delay resulted in him dropping to the tail end of the field. He fought back through to 21st place, just missing out on a point by less than a second.
Idafar finished in 16th position in race two, the sixth highest Graduate, but the overall picture was a disappointing one for Hillspeed team principal Richard Ollerenshaw bearing in mind the good pace shown by the Hathersage based squad during official testing last week and again in qualifying.
He commented: "Donington proved to be very frustrating for us. We had good pace in testing, Menasheh qualified top six for the first race, but then things went wrong and we had more than our fair share of problems. Menasheh was delayed at the first corner in race one and then the same happened to Lee in the second one.
"Sometimes things just don't go your way and it's especially frustrating for us because Donington is our home track. We were really looking forward to the weekend but, for whatever reason, circumstances conspired against us in the end. We'll work as hard as ever at Oulton Park two weeks from now and hopefully get both cars back in the top 10 where they belong."
Next on the 2009 Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship calendar will be rounds seven and eight of the season at Oulton Park Island Circuit in Cheshire on 30th/31st May.
Before then, Hillspeed's Formula Renault BARC Championship drivers -- Ahmad Al Harthy, James Theodore and Ellis Harkins -- will be in action at Oulton Park for the opening round of their 2009 season this coming Saturday, 23rd May.
Provisional 2009 Formula Renault UK Driver Standings (after Rd6): 15th Lee Dwyer, 39pts; 20th Menasheh Idafar, 29pts
Provisional 2009 Formula Renault UK 'Graduate Cup' Standings (after Rd6): 4th Lee Dwyer, 39pts; 8th Menasheh Idafar, 29pts
Provisional 2009 Formula Renault UK Team Standings (after Rd6): 7th Hillspeed, 68pts