Motorsport News - Renault
Top three showing for debutant Shahaan On Hockenheim Test Debut
25th March 2012
* Teenager lights-up NEC testing with top three showing in strong 26 driver field
Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup (NEC) debutant Shahaan Engineer made an immediate impact on the category during official testing at Hockenheim in Germany over the course of the last two days, Thursday, 22nd March, and Friday, 23rd March, by instantly lapping on front-running pace.
Although forced to miss most of the first day's six sessions due to an unfortunate excursion early on, which resulted in significant damage to his FR 2.0 car, the 16-year-old Fortec Motorsports driver had already managed to sensationally post the second quickest time during session one.
Shahaan had to sit out the remainder of the day, coincidentally while the Hockenheim track got progressively slower. Therefore, the car racing rookie retained his status as having the second quickest lap time at the day's end on his maiden run at the home of the German Grand Prix - a time achieved using old tyres.
Fortec's mechanics worked tirelessly to get Shahaan's car repaired in time for the second day of running on Friday and did a terrific job to ensure he was able to be back on track. In the morning session, in spite of having missed out on the majority of the previous day's testing, Shahaan posted the third quickest lap time just 0.025 seconds behind team-mate Josh Hill.
This remained third fastest to the conclusion of the running and, notably, the time was attained with steering which was out of alignment following the re-build of his car after Thursday's accident.
"I was set-back with the accident as that compromised everything for the remainder of the test on day one", said Shahaan, "I am really happy though with the pace we showed straight out of the box on Thursday morning. At the start of the week I had no idea we'd be in Germany just a couple of days later - to have been so quick, even with all the problems, is a good feeling."
The other sessions on Friday were hampered by a series of issues including a broken wishbone on the suspension and a cracked exhaust manifold, all arising from the fact his entire car was rebuilt following the damage incurred on day one. With that in mind, all in all it was an incredibly strong performance from the Formula Renault 2.0 NEC newcomer.
As things stood this past Monday, 19th March, Shahaan and his Fortec team were at Brands Hatch preparing for the start of the Certina Formula Renault 2.0 UK Championship with the latest of the official pre-season tests.
Following an announcement that morning though, regarding the postponement of the UK series for 2012, quick decisions had to be taken over where the young Indian would compete this year - and the burgeoning NEC series was the perfect choice.
"It's all been a huge rollercoaster ride in recent weeks but the last few days have been even crazier", added Shahaan, "If someone had told me first thing on Monday we'd be testing in Germany a couple of days later in a different championship, I don't think I'd have quite believed it!"
Rounds one and two of the 2012 Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup (NEC) will take place on 21st/22nd April at Hockenheim.
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