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 tires to take victory in DTM at his 23rd attempt.
“I want to dedicate this win to Charly Lamm,“ Eng said afterward. “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 maneuver 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 kilometers from Zolder.
Behind BMW’s Eng and Eriksson, Audi’s Nico Müller (SUI) came third, while Aston Martin scored points with an eighth and ninth place for Paul Di Resta (GBR) and Ferdinand von Habsburg (AUT).