After the postponement of the Formula Renault 2.0 UK Championship for 2012, Indian racing driver Shahaan Engineer has confirmed he will be switching to the Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup (NEC) with Fortec Motorsport.
The move sees 16 year old Engineer able to stick with the same team and the same car that he has been testing with over the winter months. The NEC series will see the car racing rookie race on some of the most prestigious circuits in Europe, including Hockenheim, Spa-Francorchamps and Nurburgring.
Engineer said: “This is a major development for my career and a very exciting one, the NEC is incredibly competitive and has a very strong grid of international drivers. Testing in the UK has gone really well and although we know this move is going to be a huge challenge for my first season in cars, it's going to accelerate my development and give me some experience of some top European tracks.
“You have to race against the best drivers to try and be the best yourself, close competition is what I enjoy the most about racing and it doesn't get much closer than in the NEC. We're really excited about this new opportunity that has arisen. I have another big learning curve with all new circuits to adapt to, but I'm confident we can have a strong season.”
Engineer headed out to Hockenheim this week, the host of the opening rounds of the season on April 21st/22nd,
for the second official pre-season NEC test and his first opportunity to test himself against his new rivals.
Engineer made an immediate impact on the two day test. In the opening session of day one, Engineer set the second fastest time and despite an off track excursion soon after that ended his day's running, his time was still good enough for him to end the day second.
Day two saw Engineer back on track after his car was repaired by the Fortec mechanics and Engineer rewarded them with another strong run, ending the day third fastest ahead of many more experienced rivals.
Engineer added: “I was set-back with the accident as that compromised everything for the remainder of the test on day one. 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 and just a couple of days later, to have been so quick, even with all the problems, is a good feeling.
“It's all been a huge rollercoaster in recent weeks but the last few days have been even crazier. 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.”