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Eng Joins ROWE BMW Squad for Endurance Cup Finale

BMW factory driver to replace Petit Le Mans-bound Nicky Catsburg in No. 98 ROWE entry…

Photo: BMW M Motorsport

Two-time TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa winner Philipp Eng will drive for ROWE Racing in this weekend’s Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Endurance Cup season finale at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

The Austrian will step into the No. 98 BMW M4 GT3 as a one-off replacement for Nicky Catsburg, who is driving for Corvette Racing at the clashing Motul Petit Le Mans.

Eng will team up with fellow BMW M Motorsport factory drivers Augusto Farfus and Nick Yelloly for the three-hour race.

The same trio combined with Connor De Phillippi in one of ROWE Racing’s Nürburgring 24 entries earlier this year, however their BMW retired after an early collision.

Eng, who races full-time in the DTM with Schubert Motorsport, is making his first GTWC Europe Endurance Cup appearance since last year’s Barcelona season finale where he, Farfus and Jesse Krohn gave the M4 GT3 its series debut as an Invitational entry.

ROWE Racing’s No. 98 drivers sit seventh in the Endurance Cup standings, one position and four points behind their teammates Max Hesse, Neil Verhagen and Dan Harper from the BMW Junior Team.

ROWE is also third in the Endurance Cup teams’ championship, one point above Team WRT and nine away from second-placed Iron Lynx.

“We are hoping that our performance at Barcelona will be better than at Hockenheim,” said team principal Hans-Peter Naundorf.

“I am confident that we will be able to hold onto a top-three position in the Endurance Cup team standings. A podium finish in the overall standings would not be a bad end to this year.

“We are not quite where we wanted to be, but we had a few technical issues in the first year with the new car.

“However, the team did a first-class job at all times, some factors such as the late delivery of the cars and the issues with replacement parts meant that more wasn’t possible.

“It is harder to receive a reliable new car for endurance races than it is for one-hour sprint races.”

Elsewhere in the Pro category, Jules Gounon is set to drive the No. 88 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo after a back injury ruled the Frenchman out of the GTWC Europe Sprint Cup season finale two weeks ago.

The Mercedes-AMG factory driver returned to action last weekend in ADAC GT Masters and won a race at the Sachsenring.

In the Silver Cup class, Vicenzo Sospiri Racing has brought Italian racer Andrea Cola into its No. 163 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo, in place of Michael Doerrbecker.

As announced last week, British drivers Jordan Witt and James Dorlin have joined Barwell Motorsport’s No. 77 Lamborghini after Sam De Haan and Patrick Kujala partnered full-timer Alex MacDowall for the team’s first race in Silver this season at Hockenheim.

Ethan Simioni is back in the No. 159 McLaren 720S GT3 run by Garage 59 after missing the previous round with COVID-19.

In the Gold Cup category, Jonathan Hui returns to Sky-Tempesta Racing’s Gold Cup Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo alongside Chris Froggatt and Eddie Cheever III.

Inception Racing’s Brendan Iribe is poised for a busy weekend that will see the Bronze-rated American pull double duty between endurance races on either side of the Atlantic Ocean, at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta on Saturday and Barcelona on Sunday.

Iribe is aiming to maintain his leading position in the Endurance Cup Gold standings alongside Ollie Millroy and Frederik Schandorff, in addition to securing the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup crown.

Mick Wishofer is again driving the No. 19 Emil Frey Racing Lamborghini in Silver despite Tuomas Tujula being named on the provisional Barcelona entry list.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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