Eng dominates the Zandvoort weekend

Philipp Eng has secured his Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland victories three and four in Zandvoort in the Netherlands.

Philipp Eng, Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland, Zandvoort 2015, Porsche AG

At the wheel of his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, on Saturday Philipp Eng beat Michael Ammermüller (D/The Heart of Racing by Lechner) and Alex Riberas (E/The Heart of Racing by Lechner) to the flag. On Sunday he outpaced Riberas and Nicki Thiim (DK/Küs Team 75 Bernhard). “I’m fit, mentally well prepared and look forward to every single race. The feeling I get standing at the top of the podium is simply indescribable. But I also realise that I still have another eight Carrera Cup races to go and the opposition is strong,” declared Eng after his fourth straight champagne shower.

The 4.307-kilometre dune course proved challenging for the 22 pilots. Sharing the front grid row on positions one and two, Eng and Riberas got off the line well and pulled clear of the field in the first lap. Sitting in third, Ammermüller attempted to fend off an attacking Thiim but eventually had to let the Dane past in lap two. The podium places were then set. Despite a short safety car phase towards the end of the race, Eng took the flag with a three-second advantage.

“That was a really good weekend at Zandvoort”

In Zandvoort, Eng also achieved the fastest time in practice, two pole positions, the fastest race lap in both races and two victories: Pocketing positions two and three this weekend, Riberas moved up the championship table: “That was a really good weekend at Zandvoort. We’re leading the team classification and I’m currently second in the drivers’ category.”

Ammermüller finished Sunday’s race on fourth ahead of Christian Engelhart (D/TECE MRS-Racing). As the best Porsche Junior, 19-year-old Matteo Cairoli (I/Team Deutsche Post by Project 1) crossed the finish line in sixth. “That was a great weekend with a great result. I enjoyed my battle with Robert Renauer, Connor de Phillippi and Christopher Zöchling. It was all very fair and great fun,” said a satisfied Cairoli.

de Phillippi was hampered by the safety car phase

Christopher Zöchling (A/Konrad Motorsport) demonstrated an impressive fighting spirit, coming from grid position 13 to finish on seventh place. Robert Renauer (D/Herberth Motorsport) netted eighth. Porsche Junior Sven Müller (D/Lechner Racing Middle East) earned points for ninth. “Unfortunately, the second race of the weekend didn’t run as smoothly. Now we need to find out why. But next time I’m back in full force,” analysed Müller. Jeffrey Schmidt (CH/Lechner Racing Middle East) rounded off the top ten on Sunday.

Porsche Junior Connor de Phillippi (Land-Motorsport) was hampered by the safety car phase: Prior to the caution phase the 22-year-old American was running in sixth but crossed the finish line eleventh: “The drivers in front of me braked suddenly which forced me into the gravel to avoid contact. That’s somewhat annoying,” said de Phillippi.

Philipp Eng, Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland, Zandvoort 2015, Porsche AG
A perfect weekend for Philipp Eng

In the overall standings, Eng leads after nine of 17 races with 154 points over Riberas with 112 points. Ranking third is Engelhart with 109 points to his credit. Fourth in the drivers’ standings is occupied by Ammermüller with 107 points.

A look back at race 8

“This is my third victory so far this season. Things are going really well for me at the moment. However, the Zandvoort circuit is a special challenge for all drivers. Sand from the nearby dunes is blown onto the track and that makes driving riskier. And you shouldn’t underestimate the strength of the wind,” declared Eng, whose victory has given him a 37-point advantage at the head of the championship.

At the wheel of his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, Eng got a catapult start off the line from pole position and managed to immediately pull clear of the field. Ammermüller, Riberas and Porsche Junior Connor de Phillippi (USA/Land-Motorsport) slotted in behind him. Running in fifth, Christian Engelhart (D/TECE MRS-Racing) at first was unable to match the pace of the frontrunners, with vehicles congesting behind him. After missing the braking point in lap four, Daniel Cammish (GB/Konrad Motorsport) ended up in the gravel, which resulted in the deployment of the safety car. The front pack closed up and when the field turned green again after two laps, Eng again broke away from his pursuers. By the time he reached the flag after 14 laps, he had built a gap of 2.7 seconds.

Engelhart netted fifth place

“Eng was simply unbeatable in this race. I couldn’t do more than second today,” concluded Ammermüller. “It’s always great to stand on the podium. Michael Ammermüller and I yielded a good harvest today for our Lechner team. Unfortunately overtaking is really difficult here at Zandvoort because the track is very narrow,” said Riberas. This is something that American de Phillippi experienced, as well. After finishing fourth on the 4.307-kilometre circuit he stated: “I managed to convert my fourth grid spot into fourth at the flag, but it’s always tough to narrowly miss out on a podium result. Zandvoort is probably the most American track on the calendar. The speed is high and the cars get pretty close to the barriers. I’m looking forward to the race on Sunday.”

Engelhart netted fifth place, with sixth going to Porsche Junior Sven Müller (D/Lechner Racing Middle East). “Unfortunately I botched my start and lost one position. Christian Engelhart and I were locked in a great and absolutely clean fight, but I just couldn’t find a way around him,” said Müller. The 19-year-old Porsche Junior Matteo Cairoli (I/Team Deutsche Post by Project 1) pocketed seventh position. “It wasn’t too bad. I fought my way through and made it safely through the melee,” said Cairoli, who contests his first season in the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland. Robert Renauer (D/Herberth Motorsport) ended his race on eighth place.

Races ten and eleven of the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland will be contested in Spielberg, Austria, from 31 July to 2 August.

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