Victory at the Total 24 Hours of Spa has allowed Walkenhorst Motorsport to show what it’s capable of, according to BMW factory driver Philipp Eng.
The Austrian says he’s “over the moon” after winning the Belgian endurance classic on Sunday in the team’s biggest success to date.
Eng drove alongside fellow works driver Tom Blomqvist and team regular Christian Krognes, a Silver-rated pilot, in the German squad’s maiden professional effort following Am Cup outings and appearances in VLN.
“Before today, they never really got the chance to show what they can do,” Eng told Sportscar365. “In that respect, I’m super happy for them.”
The win comes just two years after Eng won the event with ROWE Racing, a considerably larger BMW team with which he battled for the lead in the closing stages of this weekend’s Blancpain GT Series centerpiece.
Completing the final two hours and 45 minutes, Eng held ROWE’s Alexander Sims at bay, a driver with whom he won in 2016.
“I was happy it didn’t come to a showdown, to be honest!” he said. “I was happy that there was always a ten second margin between the two of us.
“I know him very well and he is extremely talented.”
Eng praised Walkenhorst’s adaptation to high-level Blancpain GT competition, which he believes helped give the No. 34 BMW M6 GT3 a pace advantage over the ROWE entries.
“When we rolled [the car] out at the test here, we didn’t have to do much setup work because, straight out of the pits, the car was competitive,” he explained.
“We were all very happy with the balance straight away.
“I think we have a similar driving style, between the three of us, and almost the same weight as well, so I think that also makes a difference.
“I’m super happy for the guys. They absolutely deserve it.
“BMW gave us an outstanding car [which was] reliable, quick, consistent. I also had an amazing team with Walkenhorst, and my two teammates.”
While the team has not revealed plans to enter any other races as a factory-supported entry this year, Eng is eager to return.
“I’m a BMW driver and Walkenhorst is a BMW team so the ways are short, so I hope we will be back again next year,” he said.
“Also for Christian, he’s done an outstanding job, and I hope this is not the last time we share a car.”