Shahaan EngineerRookie 16-year-old takes hat-trick of top points finishes in Formula Renault 2.0 NEC.

Fortec Motorsports racer Shahaan Engineer rocketed into the top 10 from 40 entrants of the Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup driver standings at Oschersleben in Germany over the weekend, 7th/8th July, after securing a best of seventh place finish from the latest three rounds of the season.

The rapid Indian 16-year-old, who is in only his first full season of car racing and one of the youngest drivers in the championship, stunned the paddock at the first round held in Hockenheim where he qualified in third place from a 39 strong class field of international F1 aspirants. This was his first ever race in the highly competitive European series which contains several third year drivers racing at the pinnacle of their game and to outpace 37 of the 39 drivers was nothing short of sensational.

At his first ever outing at the highly technical German track at Oschersleben, Shahaan delivered a competitive and consistent performance throughout the event. “It’s been a fantastic weekend my first time here”, said the Indian teenager, “I’ve gained some valuable track time which was necessary as I haven’t had much testing or racing in Europe compared to the others because I’ve just finished my GCSE’s in Dubai. We only get two half hour sessions to learn these circuits from scratch, so one has to get on the pace from the word go. ”

Starting the weekend well in practice, where he posted the sixth fastest time in the second of the two sessions on his eight lap of the circuit, Shahaan continued his front-running consistency in qualifying and finished all three races well within the top ten group in spite of missing the two official practice test days earlier this year because of exam commitments.

Last time out at the Nurburgring in Germany, Shahaan was caught-up in an extremely dangerous track incident not of his own doing which set the tone for a weekend in which he scored zero points. Even with that troublesome event hampering his championship tally, the teenage rookie has bounced back brilliantly to return to the top 10 in the points standings for the series.

Reflecting on Shahaan’s Oschersleben weekend, Shahaans Fortec race engineer said: “Shahaan is already up there with the frontrunners and once again stood out as the top first year driver. For now its about seat time and more racing to develop his craft so he can battle it out with the more experienced drivers, many of them are already champions from other formulae like BMW, Ford and Renault while he is just a few months into it; for his first year, it’s all about the learning and any good results are just a bonus.”

Assen in The Netherlands will host the fourth race meeting of the Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup season four weeks from now over the weekend 4th/5th August.

Keep up-to-date with Shahaan’s progress throughout the year at www.shahaan.com follow him on Twitter @ShahaanEngineer and also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ShahaanEngineer

Provisional 2012 Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup Driver Standings (after Rd8):
1st Jake Dennis, 164pts; 10th Shahaan Engineer, 65pts

Photo by Chris Schotanus/Essay Produkties