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Shahaan EngineerFormula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup contender Shahaan Engineer made a great start to his preparations for the 2013 season, his second in car racing, at Assen in The Netherlands last week by recording the fastest time during the final session and day of the official two-day collective test.

With snow affecting running on Thursday, 21st March, and freezing conditions prevalent throughout Friday, 22nd March, the wintry weather certainly made things challenging but the Indian-born racer lit up the timing screens with a best lap of 1m35.444 seconds.

Shahaan, who currently resides and studies in the UK, is now looking to consolidate the performance at Assen as his second season with Fortec Motorsports in the popular and hotly contested Northern European Cup edges ever closer. The FIA authorised championship is heading for another record-breaking season this year with at least 40 registered drivers, representing 17 different nationalities.

Away from the track, Shahaan recently became part of the McLaren Applied Technologies (MAT) ‘Performance Academy’ which combines the best knowledge for driver development, using McLaren experience, and athletic enhancement from MAT’s work with elite sports teams. The result is a programme of assessment and monitoring, allowing a driver to achieve their full winning potential.

Speaking on Shahaan’s involvement with the initiative, manager of the Human Performance Programme Clayton Green said: “We are very happy to be working with Shahaan this year, maximising his performance for this season and assisting in his development with an eye on his longer term career aspirations.”

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

Shahaan EngineerShahaan Engineer will remain with leading squad Fortec Motorsports for the 2013 Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup after today, Monday, 21st January, finalising a new deal with the reigning champion team.

The teenager delivered a highly successful debut season in single-seaters last year in the ultra-competitive Northern European series, ending the championship seventh in the standings from more than 50 registered drivers and finishing 2012 as the best of the car racing rookies.

“I’m pleased to have re-signed with Fortec for this year, I had a great first season in cars with the guys last year and I know we can build strongly on that this season”, said Shahaan, “The new car will obviously be a fresh challenge but one I’m really looking forward to, it should be an exciting year.”

Shahaan produced a number of stand-out performances in 2012 where he was the youngest racer in the championship. Qualifying third fastest on his debut weekend at Hockenheim in Germany, the then 16-year-old went on to solidify his position among the prime challengers.

Achieving his first category pole position at Zandvoort in The Netherlands, part of a triple front-row qualifying performance during the penultimate event of the season, the young driver went on to take back-to-back podium finishes and accrue the highest points score of anyone that weekend.

Speaking on the opportunity to continue working with Shahaan, Fortec’s Jamie Dye said: “We are delighted to re-sign Shahaan, 2012 saw the strongest grids in NEC yet and it was a learning year for Shahaan against tough competition in his first full season of racing in single-seaters.

“It was a great learning opportunity for him and by achieving double poles mid-season and strong finishes along the way, including back to back podiums, it gives him the strength and experience to attack from the start of the new season. Fortec would like to thank Shahaan for the faith he has shown in the team and we wish him the best of success for the coming season.”

Germany’s Hockenheimring will host the opening weekend of Formula Renault 2.0 NEC action on 6th/7th April before the series visits the Nurburgring, Silverstone in the UK, Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium, Assen in The Netherlands and Most in the Czech Republic. Zandvoort in The Netherlands will be the venue for the championship finale over the weekend 12th/13th October.

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

Shahaan EngineerRacing as part of a grid of drivers where 95 percent of the competition had at least two years of track experience in cars, Mumbai-born Shahaan Engineer enjoyed an amazing debut season in single-seaters in the 2012 Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup (NEC).

Finishing the campaign as the highest placed car racing rookie, the 17-year-old Indian driver was seventh overall in the championship standings – from more than 50 entrants – in the category’s most competitive year since its inception.

His tremendous run this year was all the more impressive when considering European Formula Renault is the toughest single-seater class at 2.0-litre level and over the last couple of years, for drivers of requisite ability, it has also proven to be the penultimate stepping stone to Formula One.

Shahaan demonstrated clear natural talent and speed in his rookie season, with the highlight of a maiden pole position and double podium finish all coming in one weekend. At the opening event, Shahaan stunned the paddock with a top three qualifying performance, from 39 drivers, at the Hockenheimring in Germany, at which point he was just 16-years-old and the youngest driver in the series.

The major highlight of the year, though, came at Zandvoort in The Netherlands where, soon after he had celebrated his 17th birthday, the Fortec Motorsports driver took his first ever pole position with a storming lap before adding a magnificent set of back-to-back podiums.

Ending the season with a top five finish at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium, from 36 drivers, Shahaan’s efforts were all the more impressive as he was one of only two drivers to have never tested or raced at the circuit previously. In addition, he had the pressure of having to learn the seven kilometre track and its many corners during the 15-minute qualifying session.

Proving no obstacle to the youngster, he made his way forward from 16th on the grid to end the race in a lofty fifth position. Finishing the year just a few points shy of the coveted championship top five, he regularly punched above his weight by outperforming numerous second and third year drivers.

“After an amazing season in the 2012 Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup with Fortec, I really want to take the chance to thank again the whole team – especially Ben Salter my race engineer and Jack Howard my mechanic, for providing me with a perfect car all season”, said Shahaan, “With my first year behind me, I really am looking forward to 2013.”

While Shahaan would have relished the opportunity to race in the MRF Challenge series, which began at the weekend as support to the FIA Formula One World Championship’s Indian Grand Prix, the first two events clash with his post-season Formula Renault 2.0 testing schedule in Europe.

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

Photo by Chris Schotanus/Essay Produkties.

Shahaan Engineer17-year-old Indian national Shahaan Engineer ends first year of car racing seventh overall from more than 50 championship entrants, with the highest points score of any first year driver, in the 2012 Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup.

Just two weeks on from a star performance at Zandvoort where he secured his maiden Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup (NEC) pole position and double podium finish, India’s Shahaan Engineer delivered yet another excellent showing in the championship at Spa-Francorchamps over the weekend, 13th/14th October.

The teenager produced a superb drive into the top five from 16th on the grid in round 19 which was a chaotic race, featuring two Safety Car periods and an early red flag stoppage which halted the action for 15 minutes.

Marking Shahaan’s first ever visit to the world-famous Belgian track, with barely 30-minutes to learn the seven kilometre circuit his terrific fifth place in race one – which was contested by 36 international drivers – helped the 17-year-old finish the year seventh in the championship and just a single point outside the top six from the 50 registered series participants.

The Fortec Motorsports driver also ends 2012 as the highest placed first year driver, in doing so out-performing a whole host of second and third year competitors in a category which isn’t an entry level series. Along with being the youngest driver in the championship, he is the first, and so far only, Indian driver to qualify on pole and take a podium finish in a European Formula Renault series.

“For me it’s a great testament to Shahaan’s development this year the sort of results he’s achieved and progress he’s made”, commented Jamie Dye, team manager of multiple championship winning team Fortec, “He really showed us how he is ready to start 2013 as a championship challenger; we’ll support him through the winter to help achieve this goal.”

Shahaan said: “It’s been a brilliant debut season in single-seaters for me. This last race weekend has been bittersweet though really, with a great result in the first race and then a gamble on tyre choice in race two. We went on slicks but rain began to fall ahead of the start and it felt like I was out on an ice-skating rink.

“Making a lucky call on the correct tyres meant the difference between a possible podium or an almost impossible race. Race one was fantastic though and I really want to thank the team for providing me with a flawless car for the whole season, and also for helping me achieve a great championship standing for my first year in cars.”

Keep up-to-date with Shahaan’s latest news during 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.

Shahaan EngineerMumbai-born racing driver Shahaan Engineer capped-off a tremendous breakthrough weekend in the Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup (NEC) at Zandvoort this afternoon, Sunday, 23rd September, with his second podium finish in as many races – and second of his rookie season.

Driving for multiple championship-winning UK team Fortec Motorsports, Shahaan starred in qualifying on Friday, 21st September, with his maiden car racing pole position. The Indian youngster then bagged the first podium of his fledgling career during round 17 on Saturday, 22nd September, and added another second place finish today with a great drive in the last race of the weekend.

Remarkably the 17-year-old, who is the youngest competitor in the hotly-contested pan-European series, concluded the visit to The Netherlands with the biggest points haul of anyone. Earning a total of 63 points across the three races, eight points clear of his nearest rival, Shahaan has surged from 11th in the championship into seventh place – just 10 points shy of fifth from 44 registered entrants.

Jamie Dye, team manager of Fortec Motorsports, said: “Shahaan did a great job all weekend and really showed us his talent. Shahaan is, for sure, one to watch in the future – he is ready to be picked up by someone big. In the meantime, we’re happy to have him on-board with us at Fortec and really pleased with his performance.”

“It’s been an exciting weekend and my best yet in cars”, added Shahaan, “Getting the two podiums and a pole position feels great but, more importantly, I’m pleased to have scored well in all three races. I want to thank the team for giving me a great car all weekend.”

Shahaan was actually one of only two drivers able to lap below the 1m39 second barrier, his best time of the race being a lap of 1m38.658 seconds. Unlike most of the other drivers he’s competing against, the youngster has leapt into the high-level series without any experience in Formula BMW, Formula Ford or any other single-seater championship – making his performances all the more impressive as he battles wheel-to-wheel against second and third year veterans in his first season.

Following this weekend’s racing, Shahaan now travels back to the UK to continue his recently commenced studies at Leighton Park in Berkshire.

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

Shahaan EngineerShahaan Engineer claimed his first ever car racing podium during round 17 of the Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup at Zandvoort in The Netherlands today, Saturday, 22nd September, with a terrific drive to second place – having led the way for much of the 14-lap encounter.

Starting the second of the day’s races from pole position, after delivering a tremendous performance in qualifying on Friday afternoon, the 17-year-old Fortec Motorsports driver made a good start to hold the lead and after a brief Safety Car period early on he pulled away from the chasing pack.

By lap 10 the Mumbai-born racer was almost three seconds clear at the front and well in control but on the penultimate lap of the race, at the last corner, Shahaan was blocked on the inside line as he attempted to lap a slower car.

The ensuing delay for Shahaan dropped him to second place, as his nearest rival snatched the lead around the outside, so the Indian teenager had to settle for the runner-up spot – just 0.6 seconds behind at the flag. He also posted the second fastest lap of the race to confirm his excellent pace.

“Taking my first podium is fantastic, the team did a great job and I felt really comfortable leading from pole”, said Shahaan, “Everything was going perfectly until the backmarker got in the way, as soon as I’d made my decision to go to the inside to pass him he swerved in front of me and I had to slow down.”

In the earlier 16th round, which started on a damp but drying track, Shahaan finished in sixth position to mark a strong first day of racing at the 4.3-kilometre Dutch track. For round 18 tomorrow, Sunday, 23rd September, Shahaan will once again line-up on pole position – the action is scheduled to begin at approximately 13.10, local time.

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.

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

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.

Shahaan Engineer - Red Bull Ring, AustriaShahaan Engineer added yet another top 10 finish to his impressive tally on his maiden outing at the famous Red Bull Ring in Austria on Sunday, 26th August, during the fifth race meeting of the 2012 Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup (NEC).

The 16-year-old Indian national, who was born in Mumbai and is currently schooling in the UK, performed strongly as part of a very competitive 35 driver entry at the historic former FIA Formula One World Championship venue and out-paced a number of vastly more experienced rivals.

As the youngest driver in the heavily subscribed pan-European championship, Shahaan continues to contradict his lack of experience on one of the biggest stages in junior single-seater racing anywhere in the world.

Memorably he made a huge impact on his European debut at Hockenheim in Germany in April, stunning the paddock by setting the third fastest time in qualifying, from 39 drivers, before securing two impressive top eight results.

While practice and qualifying at the Red Bull Ring this past weekend took place in the dry, raceday at the Spielberg track was an entirely different prospect with the onset of rain throwing a fresh challenge into the mix for the Fortec Motorsports driver. Shahaan raced impressively, culminating in a deserved top 10 finish.

Next on the schedule for Shahaan is a visit to Most in the Czech Republic for rounds 13, 14 and 15 of the 2012 Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup this coming weekend, 1st/2nd 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

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