Philipp Eng takes maiden DTM win at Zolder

Philipp Eng takes maiden DTM win at Zolder

18.05.2019: ... dedicates victory to BMW legend Charly Lamm • Hard work pays off – Eng and Eriksson score 1-2 fo

.. dedicates victory to BMW legend Charly Lamm

•    Hard work pays off – Eng and Eriksson score 1-2 for BMW

•    Müller on the podium for Audi

•    Rockenfeller (Audi) and Di Resta (Aston Martin) shine with two-stop strategies

Philipp Eng earned an emotional maiden victory as the DTM returned to its birthplace at Belgium’s Zolder circuit. The Austrian BMW driver benefited from a mid-race Safety Car period, that carved the race in half, and enabled him to take full advantage of an early stop for tyres to take victory in DTM at his 23rd attempt.

“I want to dedicate this win to Charly Lamm,“ Eng said afterwards. “He was a good friend to many of us, and a special mentor to me. He told me to chase my dream. So I did, and here I am. Thank you Charly, I could feel you with me today.”

Having started from the fourth row after qualifying seventh, Eng benefited from a Safety Car intervention to retrieve the stranded R-Motorsport Aston Martins of Daniel Juncadella and Jake Dennis. The Safety Car wound the field in for five laps and enabled Eng, who along with a clutch of other drivers had already completed his mandatory mid-race stop, to narrow the gap to the leaders.

At the restart, the Austrian also overtook his fellow BMW driver Joel Eriksson (SWE), the decisive manoeuvre of the race, moved past Rene Rast and established a small but critical lead at the front.

For Eng’s squad, BMW Team RBM, victory in the third race of the current DTM season was also a much-celebrated home win. The team, run by Bart Mampaey, is based in Mechelen, only 72 kilometres from Zolder.

Behind BMW’s Eng and Eriksson, Audi’s Nico Müller (SUI) came third, while Aston Martin scored points with eighth and ninth place for Paul Di Resta (GBR) and Ferdinand von Habsburg (AUT).

A strategic roll of the dice

The Safety Car gave the early stoppers a clear advantage: fourth position went to Loïc Duval (FRA, Audi), who had completed his stop on the same lap as race winner Eng. Due to a jump start, Duval had to additionally complete a five-second stop-go penalty in the pits.

Right behind him, fellow Audi driver Mike Rockenfeller (GER) finished fifth. After a poor qualifying performance, Rockenfeller worked his way up after making his mandatory pit-stop, followed by another precautionary stop during the Safety Car intervention. Paul Di Resta (GBR, Aston Martin) also used a two-stop strategy to work his way up from 16th on the grid to eighth at the finish.

» Quotes – race 1, Zolder

“I am probably the happiest person in the world! I’m so glad to be in the DTM, so happy to be racing for BMW. Winning is simply fantastic. This is the scenario I’ve always dreamt of. However, reality is much better than the dream by far – although the last five, six laps felt as long as a 24-hour race! There was some luck involved as well, but I reckon we deserved this win. I dedicate this victory to my mentor Charly Lamm.”

Philipp Eng, winner

“That was one of the most difficult races of my life. I didn’t made any mistakes throughout the race, but, towards the end, Nico Müller put me under massive pressure. Luckily, I was able to keep him at bay – even thought, towards the end, my tyres were worn considerably. But I’m happy – both for the BMW team and also because our strategy was effective today. Philipp Eng is one of my closest friends, so I’m really happy for him.”

Joel Eriksson, 2nd place

“Here at Zolder, overtaking is really difficult. I tried to keep the pressure up until the end, but I was struggling with tyre degradation myself in the closing stages. We can be really happy with the result. Finishing on the podium after the qualifying result I had is great, even though there was some luck involved, too.”

Nico Müller, 3rd place

» Results – race 1, Zolder

01. Philipp Eng (AUT), BMW), 39 laps in 59m 34.758s
02. Joel Eriksson (SWE), BMW, + 8.645s
03. Nico Müller (SUI), Audi, + 8.829s
04. Loïc Duval (FRA), Audi, + 18.159s
05. Mike Rockenfeller (GER), Audi, +24.502s
06. Jamie Green (GBR), Audi, + 32.318s
07. Marco Wittmann (GER), BMW, + 32.746s
08. Paul Di Resta (GBR), Aston Martin, + 35.875s
09. Ferdinand von Habsburg (AUT), Aston Martin, + 38.858s
10. Bruno Spengler (CAN), BMW, + 39.874s

Fastest lap: Robin Frijns (NED), Audi RS 5 DTM, 1m 23.751s
Pole position: Marco Wittmann (GER), BMW M4 DTM, 1m 21.307s
Weather conditions: 22°C, sunshine
Circuit conditions: 41–46°C, dry


Highlights, race 1, Zolder, 18 May 2019

» Strategies at a glance – race 1, Zolder

#25 – Philipp Eng (AUT)
First stint: 31 percent » pit stop: lap 12 » second stint: 69 percent

#47 – Joel Eriksson (SWE)
First stint: 21 percent » pit stop: lap 8 » second stint: 79 percent

#51 – Nico Müller (SUI)
First stint: 31 percent » pit stop: lap 12 » second stint: 69 percent

» Wow fact – race 1, Zolder


Since the DTM had its last race at Zolder on 5 May 2002, exactly 888 weeks and 6 days have passed by. Moreover, Zolder is considered as the birthplace of the DTM. The first race was held here on 13 March 1984. Or, to be precise, 12,851 days ago. That makes the DTM exactly 35 years and 68 days old on the Saturday at Zolder.

» Regulations at a glance


The 2019 generation of DTM cars feature DRS (Drag Reduction System). However, the rear wing is wider than the ones used in previous years and is now a single-piece wing, whereas it previously consisted of two parts. For the new rear wing, the DTM adopted the familiar component from SUPER GT. The purpose of the rear wing is to generate downforce.

 At high speed, the driver can use a button to bring the wing into a position, whereby it generates less aerodynamic drag. This in turn allows for higher speeds and makes overtaking easier. The drivers may only use DRS in the race when they are less than three seconds behind the car in front of them. With one exception: As of this season, all drivers – except the leader – can use DRS on the final five laps, regardless of the gap to the car in front.

» And then there were …

… Sayana Ranjan and Cäcilia Zimmer – two of the three finalists of Germany’s Next Top Model 2019. Before the successor of Lena Gercke, Stefanie Giesinger and Toni Dreher-Adenuga will be crowned at the end of the 14th season in Düsseldorf next Thursday, Ranjan and Zimmer got a first-hand motorsport experience at Zolder. There, they watched the DTM from up close and enjoyed passenger rides in the race taxis along Mike Rockenfeller with an Audi and Sheldon van der Linde with a BMW as well as photo shoots in the pit lane.

- ITR also photos


18.05.2019 / MaP

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