Eng Takes Points Lead as DTM Returns to Zolder
Philipp Eng moved into the DTM championship lead with a win and runner-up finish on series’ return to Zolder, while Rene Rast claimed the other race victory.
Eng made his mandatory pit stop early in the race after starting seventh, and a mid-race safety car period bunched the field up, allowing the BMW Team RBM driver to move into the lead by passing Joel Eriksson and Rene Rast.
It was Eng’s first DTM race win on his 23rd start, while also marking a home win for the Belgian RBM squad.
The Austrian eventually finished 8.6 seconds clear of fellow BMW driver Eriksson, while Nico Mueller, Loic Duval and Mike Rockenfeller completed the top five in their Audi RS5 Turbo DTMs.
Rast secured his second win of the season in Sunday’s Race 2, securing second position in the drivers’ championship for the Audi Sport Team Rosberg driver.
He took the lead with a move on Sheldon van der Linde on lap 11 and managed to hold onto the top spot during the round of pit stops, before a relatively straightforward run to the line.
Eng finished second, while Jamie Green claimed the final podium position on the last lap.
R-Motorsport’s best result of the weekend came with a sixth-place finish for Jake Dennis on Sunday after Paul Di Resta and Ferdinand Habsburg both had points-scoring finishes in the first race.
HCB-Rutronik Audi, Callaway Corvette Secure GT Masters Wins at Most
HCB-Rutronik Racing gave Audi its first ADAC GT Masters win of the season while Callaway Competition went on to claim its second victory of 2019 at Most.
Kelvin van der Linde and Patric Niederhauser combined to secure HCB-Rutronik Racing’s first victory in just its third GT Masters race on Saturday, leading the entire race.
Niederhauser kept his lead from pole position and defended from Mirko Bortolotti, whose Orange1 by Grasser co-driver Christian Engelhart likewise ran behind van der Linde after the pit stops.
The Lamborghini duo were forced to settle for second position, with Engelhart finishing four seconds behind van der Linde, while Christopher Mies and Max Hofer completed the podium for Montaplast by Land Motorsport.
Callaway’s Marvin Kirchhoefer and Markus Pommer claimed their second win of the season in Sunday’s race, again leading for the full race.
Kirchhoefer made the decisive move for the lead by passing pole-sitter Franck Perera at the first corner, with the Frenchman and his co-driver Rolf Ineichen eventually giving Grasser its second runner-up finish of the weekend.
The race was halted for ten minutes after Thomas Preining went into the crash barrier, but Kirchhoefer was nevertheless able to survive the safety car restart.
Ineichen finished 3.4 seconds down in the No. 82 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo, while third-placed RWT Racing made it two Corvette C7 GT3-Rs on the podium.
Barwell Sweeps British GT Races at Snetterton
Barwell Motorsport dominated the pair of British GT Championship races at Snetterton on Sunday, with Phil Keen and Adam Balon taking victory in both.
Keen’s back-to-back wins in the No. 72 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo saw him become the championship’s most successful driver in terms of class and GT3 victories.
His new total of 15 GT3 wins is one more than previous record-holder Jonny Adam.
Keen took the lead in Race 1 after the pit stops, passing Jack Mitchell when his Century Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 slowed with an electrical glitch.
He came home 13 seconds clear of Team Parker Racing’s Bentley Continental GT3 shared by Ryan Ratcliffe and Glynn Geddie, while TF Sport rounded out the podium with Jonny Adam and Graham Davidson.
Barwell went one better in Sunday afternoon’s second race, with Balon leading Sam De Haan to a 1-2 for the Lamborghini team.
Balon overcame a ten-second pit stop success penalty to exit the pits just ahead of teammate De Haan, but both trailing leader Mark Farmer.
Farmer had taken over Nicki Thiim’s TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage GT3, after Keen had been battling with the Aston Martin works driver during his first stint.
The two Barwell Am drivers made their way past Farmer to finish 0.5 seconds apart at the line, while Balfe Motorsport also got its McLaren 720S GT3 through to claim third.
Steller Motorsport claimed the GT4 class win in Race 1 on its debut with the Audi R8 LMS GT4 which was driven by Richard Williams and Sennan Fielding.
Race 2 GT4 honors went the way of Tolman Motorsport with its McLaren 570S GT3 shared by Jordan Collard and Lewis Proctor.
News & Notes
***Jenson Button made a trip to Silverstone last Monday to support his GT3 team, Jenson Team Rocket RJN, after the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup round.
“It was great to come along and catch up with all the guys after the Silverstone race,” said the 2009 Formula 1 World Champion. “It was a shame I couldn’t be there over the weekend but I’m obviously following closely every session when the boys are on track!
“There’s been some super close, exciting racing in Blancpain so far this year and it’s been great to see a strong start to the season for us with such a new combination of team and drivers with the Honda NSX Evo; I’m sure the first podium finish must just around the corner!
“It was nice to catch up with Struan [Moore] and Philipp [Frommenweiler] although a shame that our other driver, Matt McMurry had to be back in California and missed the day.”
***The TCR Middle East Series is set to return early next year for its fourth season, and second with Creventic as promoter. Earlier this year, Creventic organized TCR events at Dubai Autodrome and Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.
***Discussions are underway for its opening weekend to take place as the support series to the Hankook 24 Hours of Dubai, with further rounds at Yas Marina and a finale in a tie-up with TCR Asia at Sepang in Malaysia.
***FIA World Endurance Championship driver Davide Rigon demonstrated his AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evo during the Motor Valley Fest in Modena city center over the weekend.
***Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus has “officially committed” to the 2020-21 FIA World Endurance Championship top-level prototype regulations, which are set to be defined soon. The U.S. automaker intends to offer both road and race versions of its planned SCG 007 LMP1 machine.
Daniel Lloyd contributed to this report.