Shahaan Engineer’s preparations for his entry into Formula Renault took a major leap forward when he exceeded all expectations during his maiden Fortec test.
Having stepped out of a successful karting career to concentrate on single-seater’s, the 15-year old Indian had travelled to the demanding Oulton Park circuit in Cheshire, to put more mileage under his belt.Having switched to the crack Fortec squad, Engineer wasted little time in settling into his new environment and impressing Team Manager Steve Lynch: “Shahaan was set a benchmark of achieving one of our 2011 championship drivers’ best lap time. Almost immediately he was able to match it, before going on to better it by over a tenth of a second, which was a fantastic achievement.”
He added, “Overall Shahaan did very well and showed undoubted talent. He is an exciting young prospect and I’m looking forward to working with him again.”
Mumbai-born Shahaan has spent the first half of 2011 testing 2-litre Formula Renault cars on some of Britain and Europe’s most famous and iconic tracks, including Brands Hatch, Silverstone and Hockenheim in Germany. In each outing he has demonstrated a blemish free record in testing - and for this very reason he has received special permission to practice before he turns 16.
Commenting on his experience with multiple champions Fortec, Shahaan says proudly: “I was given a job to do and I did it. Working with Steve and his team was a great experience. They are very professional and were precise in what they wanted from me, making it easy to translate this into my on track performance.”
Leading sports psychologist Neil Drew believes Shahaan is a fast learner, in every sense of the phrase: “He has to be the easiest guy to work with. You just have to tell him once and he does it. Shahaan grasps any concept and remembers it. His mastery and understanding of the mental side of his sport is exceptional.”
Neil also highlights that Shahaan has an instinctive ‘feel’ for handling a slicks and wings racing car, adding: “Most racing drivers who have raced and tested for years only ever develop the ability to react when the car actually doesn’t behave, but Shahaan has that rare gift of knowing what the car is going to do before it actually does it, take corrective measures and still maintaining quick, consistent laps.”
Drew’s company Competition Mind has been working closely with Engineer throught the year and asserts, “The next learning curve will be the racing itself, but I have a hunch that it won’t take Shahaan long at all to get used to the new mental demands that will be placed on him. It’s all too easy to embellish and elaborate when giving a quotation on a driver I’m working with - but with Shahaan, it’s a pleasure to say because what I’m telling you is a fact”.Shahaan will commence his final year of GCSE studies in September, whilst continuing to build towards his international motor sport debut next Spring