Menasheh IdafarHillspeed’s Menasheh Idafar will line up for the first of tomorrow’s Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship races at Snetterton Circuit from the eighth row of the grid following a very close and competitive qualifying session at the Norfolk track this morning, Saturday, 1st August.

The 18-year-old category rookie, who is backed by Gulf Computer Services and Ortolan, emerged from the round 13 qualifying session with a best lap of 1m05.674 seconds (106.99mph) which placed him 16th on the grid for the first of Sunday’s encounters.

Turning out to be his best effort of the day Menasheh’s fastest time was the sixth best lap by one of the Graduate Cup contenders. He was also within just seven 10ths of a second of pole position and a mere 0.4 seconds shy of the overall top 10.

During this afternoon’s round 14 session Menasheh put in plenty of laps from the start but couldn’t quite find the extra time he needed. His best of 1m05.835 seconds (106.73mph) placed him 18th on the timesheets overall and seventh quickest of the Graduate Cup runners. He was also within just one second of pole positon and only 0.063 seconds slower than round four race winner Jesse Krohn.

“Qualifying was incredibly close today”, commented Hillspeed’s Matt Shawyer, “We lost time in both sessions in the second half of the lap but just three or four 10ths of a second is all it takes to lose you eight or nine places on the grid. Menasheh’s pace in the first half of the lap is good and that will be important for the start of both races tomorrow.”

The 13th round of the 2009 Michelin Formula Renault UK Championship will get underway at 09.50 in the morning, Sunday, 2nd August, with round 14 following at approximately 15.45. The second race will be screened live in the UK on Freeview, digital satellite and cable channel ITV4. Please check listings for up-to-date details.

Provisional 2009 Formula Renault UK Championship Positions (after Rd12):
1st Oli Webb, 279pts; 2nd Dean Smith, 260pts; 21st Menasheh Idafar, 46pts

Provisional 2009 Formula Renault UK ‘Graduate Cup’ Positions (after Rd12):
1st Harry Tincknell, 175pts; 8th Menasheh Idafar, 46pts

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.