DWYER FOURTH FASTEST GRADUATE DURING OFFICIAL THRUXTON TEST Hillspeed's Lee Dwyer continued his impressive start to the 2009 Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship with a highly competitive run during official testing at Thruxton Circuit in ...
DWYER FOURTH FASTEST GRADUATE DURING OFFICIAL THRUXTON TEST
Hillspeed's Lee Dwyer continued his impressive start to the 2009 Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship with a highly competitive run during official testing at Thruxton Circuit in Hampshire yesterday, Tuesday, 14th April.
With Thruxton the venue for the third and fourth rounds of the 2009 season on 25th/26th April, Tuesday's outing marked the actual pre-event practice and so was a highly important day for both the teams and drivers in terms of identifying a good set-up for the upcoming race meeting.
Huddersfield-based Dwyer, who is taking part in his maiden season in Formula Renault UK this year, showed excellent pace during the opening event of the championship at Brands Hatch just over a week ago and was once again on top form at Thruxton.
Lapping with a best time of 1m 10.756 seconds (119.87mph) during session one, the 18-year-old ended the 45-minute run a superb seventh fastest overall and second quickest of the Graduate Cup challengers.
In session two, he ended up 12th overall with an almost identical best lap of 1m 10.757 seconds (119.86mph) -- less than three 100ths of a second shy of the top 10. On combined times for the day, Dwyer was 14th overall, just eight 10ths of a second away from the outright pace.
For team-mate Menasheh Idafar, also a category rookie this year, the Thruxton test wasn't quite as positive in terms of outright pace but Hillspeed's engineers believe there to have been an issue with the engine in his car as the 18-year-old struggled for straight-line speed.
Clearly a major handicap at a circuit as fast and flowing as Thruxton, Idafar nonetheless completed a large amount of worthwhile set-up work during the test and the team is now working with Renault Sport UK to rectify the power issue.
Idafar's best session one time of 1m 11.365 seconds (118.84mph) was around four 10ths of a second outside the coveted top 10 and proved to be the teenager's quickest of the day. In the afternoon, he lapped with a time of 1m 11.693 seconds (118.30mph.
Commenting on the Thruxton test, Hillspeed team principal Richard Ollerenshaw said: "Lee did a superb job in both sessions but was actually likely to be even faster had it not been for the fact he was blocked on his new tyre run. His pace was very good as it stands but it's a strong likelihood he would have ended the test around the top six on combined times without that problem.
"Menasheh drove very well and completed all of the set-up work we had planned for the day but we think there may be a lack of power coming from the engine as he was losing a lot of ground to people up Woodham Hill and through the fast series of corners like Goodwood, Noble and Church."
Hillspeed now returns to its base in Hathersage, Derbyshire, ahead of rounds three and four of the 2009 Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship which will take place 10 days from now at Thruxton over the weekend 25th/26th April.
Qualifying for round three will get underway at 09.00 on Saturday, 25th April, the round four session will follow at 14.00 and the opening 16-lap race of the weekend is scheduled to begin at 17.35.
Round four is timetabled to commence at 15.20 on Sunday, 26th April, and will be featured live on ITV4 during the station's afternoon broadcast from the Hampshire track. All of the action can be viewed on channel 28 on Freeview, through channel 117 on cable and at channel 120 on Sky Digital.