Philipp Eng in the #25 BMW Team RMR M4 DTM won the first of two DTM races on the Zolder circuit in Belgium on Saturday, May 18. He then led the BMW contingent in race two on Sunday with a second-place finish.
In race one on Saturday Eng, was followed across the line by Joel Ericsson in the #47 M4 DTM. Marco Wittmann, who had started from the pole, finished seventh, and Bruno Spengler finished tenth. Spengler had led early in the race before a safety car came out. Eng and Ericsson had pitted before the safety car period, so they were able to move to the front of the pack, as those who had not pitted early came in for their stops after the safety car period ended. Along with Spengler and Wittmann, BMW racers Timo Glock and Sheldon van der Linde were set back by the safety car.
On Sunday van der Linde took his first-ever DTM pole. He ran near the front most of the way, falling back from third to his fifth-place finishing position on the final lap. Eng was second behind race winner René Rast in an Audi. Spengler and Eriksson, in seventh and tenth, also scored points for BMW. Wittmann received a drive-through penalty after tagging Robin Frijns’ Audi, and Timo Glock had to retire just before the end of the race.
The first-ever DTM race, won by BMW racer Harald Grohs in a 635CSi, was run at Zolder in 1984. The 2019 event marked the series’ first return to Zolder since 2002.
Eng’s performance at Zolder moved him into the series’ points lead going into the next event at Misano on June 7–9, with Rast second and Wittmann third.
Rudolf Dittrich, general manager of BMW Motorsport vehicle development, said, “After two race weekends in the 2019 DTM season, we can be very satisfied. We have reached pole position in all four races so far, we have won two races and recorded a total of four podiums. That clearly shows what a good job everyone involved did over the winter during development of the new car and the turbo engine. BMW Team RBM has enjoyed a fantastic home event at Zolder; after the win for Philipp Eng and the second place for Joel Eriksson on Saturday, we added pole position for Sheldon van der Linde and second place for Philipp Eng on Sunday. Congratulations to Bart Mampaey and his crew, and to Philipp for his sensational weekend. Congratulations are also in order for Sheldon, who has entered the history books as the youngest BMW driver to claim a pole position in just his fourth DTM race. It is a shame that he just missed out on his first podium in the race. After the two races in Belgium, we are now leading the drivers’ standings with Philipp. We are aiming to build on that at Misano in two weeks.”—Brian Morgan
[Photo Courtesy of BMW Motorsport]