Shahaan Engineer - Most, FR NECCar racing rookie Shahaan Engineer climbed back up the Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup (NEC) championship table at Most in the Czech Republic over the weekend, 1st/2nd September, with a best finish of ninth – out of 33 competitors – in the second of three races.

Although enduring problems in qualifying on Saturday, the Mumbai teenager performed strongly on his debut at the 4.2-kilometre track and delivered three encouraging race performances to end the weekend 11th in the championship from 42 registered drivers.

The best of those outings was undoubtedly race two on Sunday morning where the Fortec Motorsports driver, the youngest and least experienced racer on the heavily subscribed NEC grid, carved his way through into the coveted top 10 with a good drive from 14th position to ninth place.

“I’ve qualified in the top five several times this year and I did hope to start this weekend’s races in a better position”, commented Shahaan, “The main focus though in each race was to move forward and gain more overtaking experience, and that’s what we achieved.”

Just one week on from a top 10 performance at the Red Bull Ring in Austria, the Indian rookie again overcame his lack of seat time in Formula Renault compared to his rivals – the majority of whom are, at the very least, in their second season in the category.

In spite of missing all of the pre-season testing in mainland Europe at the start of the year, due to the fact he was originally scheduled to race in Britain prior to the UK series being cancelled at the last minute, Shahaan is certainly making the best of his debut season.

“Shahaan is so young still and very inexperienced compared to the drivers he’s racing against this year”, said Fortec team principal Richard Dutton, “It is a very steep learning curve for him, but that’s good and exactly what he needs.”

So far, 2012 has been very tough for Shahaan as he has been balancing his final year of GCSEs in Dubai with travelling around Europe. As of today though, Monday, 3rd September, he begins a new chapter with a move to the UK where he will now be permanently based for his schooling.

Zandvoort in The Netherlands will host the penultimate event of the 2012 Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup just three weeks from now on 22nd/23rd September.

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

Photo by Chris Schotanus/Essay Produkties.