Philipp Eng: Final Zolder DTM laps felt longer than any endurance race

Philipp Eng says the final laps on the way to his first DTM win felt longer than any endurance race he had done his career

Philipp Eng: Final Zolder DTM laps felt longer than any endurance race

Eng benefitted from a safety car called shortly after he had made his mandatory pitstop, which meant he cycled into lead contention for the IndyCar-style restart before taking his victory.

The BMW driver had previously managed two pole positions in the DTM, as well as three podiums, and Eng admitted that his winless streak played on his mind late on at Zolder.

Eng has competed at the Le Mans 24 Hours, the Daytona 24 Hours and in the Sebring 12 Hours as part of a varied sportscar career.

"I'm also racing in endurance races, 12-hour and 24-hour, but this was the longest stint of my life," said Eng.

"Especially the last few laps, many things went through my head and I tried not to get distracted from myself.

"It's an amazing feeling to be [one of] the DTM race winners now.

"We were lucky with the safety car [timing], of course, because we stopped a few laps before."

Eng almost made contact with eventual third place finisher Nico Muller on the restart.

The race-winner praised team-mate Joel Eriksson for not attempting a risky move for the win while Eng and Muller battled.

Eng said: "It was anything but a calm race. I had a chat with Nico [before the press conference] about our Indy restart, I was behind him and massively locked up at Turn 1 and I almost took him out!

"We didn't make contact at the end and Joel was very fair at Turn 4, I saw he was there and we didn't make contact.

"It was exciting and we didn't want to collide, we both knew it was for the victory."

Eng dedicated his victory to Charly Lamm, the legendary Schnitzer BMW boss who died in January.

Farewell to touring car racing's greatest team boss

Lamm had overseen various success in tin tops and sportscars - including the DTM title when BMW returned to the series in 2012.

"I want to dedicate this victory to Charly Lamm," said Eng. "A good friend for many of us, he was a very special mentor for me on the way to DTM and I raced for him in 2017 in ADAC GT Masters.

"I once asked him the question 'could you see me driving a DTM car?' And then he said: 'Of course, you should try to chase the dream'.

"I did and I'm here.

"Thank you Charly, I could feel you here with me [in the race]."

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BMW's Philipp Eng claims maiden DTM victory in dramatic Zolder race

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Series DTM
Drivers Philipp Eng
Author Tom Errington
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