IDAFAR IN THE POINTS AS DWYER COUNTS COST OF MAJOR ACCIDENT Derbyshire-based Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship team Hillspeed had a mixed weekend at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit on 4th/5th July with Menasheh Idafar taking two points ...
IDAFAR IN THE POINTS AS DWYER COUNTS COST OF MAJOR ACCIDENT
Derbyshire-based Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship team Hillspeed had a mixed weekend at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit on 4th/5th July with Menasheh Idafar taking two points finishes but team-mate Lee Dwyer forced out of the event's action after contact in the opening race.
The Huddersfield based teenager, who -- like team-mate Idafar -- is competing in the championship for the first time this year, was only able to secure a pair of row 13 starts for the 11th and 12th rounds of the season but had enough confidence in his racecraft to be able to make inroads on the top 20 and, quite possibly, the top 15.
Gaining three places alone on lap one, the 18-year-old looked well set for a good race and on the second tour he grabbed another position as Jordan Williams slipped back. Running closely behind Michael Lyons on lap three, the cars made contact while dicing for 20th position and the net result was a major excursion for Dwyer which left his car with an estimated damage bill of 316,000.
The incident was all the more disappointing for Dwyer and the team as during the build-up to qualifying on Saturday afternoon, 4th July, hundreds of spectators queued at the Hillspeed awning in the race paddock to take advantage of team principal Richard Ollerenshaw's brainchild of allowing fans to sign their name on the car for just 0x00a31 each. The tongue-in-cheek exercise netted 3500!
While Dwyer was unfortunately ruled out of the entire day's racing from that point on, but without injury thankfully, 18-year-old Idafar avoided incident and did race well in round 11 to achieve a 19th place finish. For the final eight laps, he was in a tight duel with fellow Graduate Cup runner Alice Powell who just shaded it at the chequered flag by a mere four 10ths of a second.
In round 12, Idafar moved up three places on lap one and then became involved in an entertaining scrap with Ollie Hancock -- the reigning Formula Renault BARC Champion. Passing Hancock on lap four, Idafar remained ahead in 16th position until the 13th lap when contact from Jordan Williams as they headed into Copse broke the front wing on the Hillspeed car.
Dicing over position, Williams darted across to the right and then cut back on to the racing line for the corner but caught the front wing of Idafar's car as he did so. Causing a puncture to Williams' car and eliminating him from the race, Idafar at least managed to continue in 17th position and did well to secure four more championship points.
"It was a disappointing weekend for the team as a whole really but more so for Lee, he couldn't be blamed for anything on track and the damage bill means we're not even sure if he'll be able to complete the season now", said Ollerenshaw, "Menasheh at least achieved two points finishes, he raced well with Ollie (Hancock) and, again, he wasn't at fault for the incident at Copse."
There are now four weeks to wait until the seventh event of the 2009 Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship, rounds 13 and 14, which will be held at Snetterton in Norfolk on 1st/2nd August.
Hillspeed's Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship squad, meanwhile, will return to the track this coming weekend, 11th/12th July, at Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire for rounds four and five of the 2009 campaign. There is also a general test day scheduled for Friday, 10th July.
Provisional 2009 Formula Renault UK Driver Standings (after Rd12): 19th Lee Dwyer, 58pts; 21st Menasheh Idafar, 46pts
Provisional 2009 Formula Renault UK 'Graduate Cup' Standings (after Rd12): 6th Lee Dwyer, 58pts; 8th Menasheh Idafar, 46pts