Shahaan EngineerIndia’s Shahaan Engineer impressed the Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup (NEC) paddock at Zandvoort in The Netherlands today, Friday, 21st September, by qualifying on pole position for the first time in his rookie year of car racing.

Posting a fastest lap time of 1m36.611 seconds in session two, the 17-year-old Fortec Motorsports driver – the youngest competitor in the field – took pole position for round 17 of the season with a margin of more than 0.2 seconds over his closest challenger.

In session one, determining the grid for the first of the weekend’s three races, Shahaan performed just as impressively and only missed out on pole by 0.1 seconds – his lap of 1m37.778 seconds good enough for a front-row start in round 16.

“It’s been a good day, I’m obviously really happy to take my first pole position in cars and to do so against such tough opposition is a great feeling”, he commented, “We don’t know how the races will go but if I can get good starts, I’m sure we’ll have a great chance to do well as our pace has been strong all weekend so far.”

So far in his first full season of single-seater racing, the Indian youngster – who is currently schooling in the UK at Leighton Park in Reading, Berkshire – has enjoyed some strong results with a best of seventh position at Oschersleben in Germany. Going into this weekend’s action Shahaan is 11th overall in the championship standings, out of more than 40 registered drivers.

Race one of the weekend will begin at 10.10, local time, tomorrow, Saturday, 22nd September, with race two following at 15.50. On Sunday, 23rd September, the third and final race of the weekend will get underway at approximately 13.10.

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