Philipp Eng from Austria took top honours in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup today at the wheel of his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
On the storied race track of Spa in Belgium, the 25 year old beat Porsche Junior Sven Müller and Christian Engelhart to the flag and earned the most points towards the championship with his second win of the season. With this, the Salzburg native extends his series lead after seven of eleven races. “I’m now leading by 20 points and I’m thrilled with my good record: Five times on the podium after seven races is great. Second place on Saturday, pole position and victory on Sunday – I’m satisfied with my Spa weekend,” analysed Eng.
The 33-strong field contesting the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup treated motorsport fans at the Spa race track to some riveting action. Over much of the race, spectators in the well-filled grandstands witnessed a close battle for positions amongst the front-runners. Directly after the start, Müller launched an attack on Eng. The Porsche Junior made repeated attempts to get past the Project 1 driver, but Eng managed to fend him off. After the nine-time World Rally Champion parked his vehicle with a problem just a few metres after the start, the safety car was deployed for one lap. When the field went green again, Eng hit the ground running, but Müller stuck close to his bumper. “I tried absolutely everything to overtake Philipp but I just couldn’t find a way around him. Still, I’m pleased with second place after my victory on Saturday. I can go home feeling very good with such a balance,” concluded Müller.
Engelhart pocketed critical championship points scoring third, with the seasoned specialist from Bavaria now ranking second in the overall classification. “There are still 80 points up for grabs with four races left on the calendar. The final score is only tallied at the end,” said Engelhart challengingly. Christopher Zöchling saw the chequered flag as fourth ahead of Jeffrey Schmidt from Switzerland. After the Lechner team put in a night-shift to repair damage to the vehicle of Michael Ammermüller after hitting the crash barriers the day before, the car performed reliably to the flag and the hard work of the team and driver was rewarded with position six.
Alex Riberas, who took off into the race from 13th, ultimately crossed the finish line in seventh and set the fastest race lap in the process. This puts the 21-year-old Spaniard in third place overall with 83 points behind Eng and Engelhart. Ben Barker finished eighth ahead of Porsche Junior Connor de Phillippi. “I’m pleased I managed to make up a few positions. My duel with Ben Barker was fair and great fun,” said de Philippi. The second-best rookie after Schmidt was the Swiss Philipp Frommenwiler in tenth.
VIP-driver Patrick Dempsey managed to steadily improve his lap times and he finished the race in a respectable 23rd out of 33 contenders. “I really enjoyed driving in front of this impressive backdrop. It was an honour for me to meet experienced race drivers like Sébastien Loeb here and the other Supercup drivers were great as well. I’ve learned a lot here, such as how to drive in a pack. This will also help me in my other racing activities,” said a satisfied Dempsey, for whom Spa was his second Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup race after Hockenheim last year.
The next Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup race weekend is at Monza/Italy from September the 4th to the 6th. Two races will be contested there as well as at the season finale in Austin. Monza marks the home race for Porsche Junior Matteo Cairoli, whose home town of Como is just 25 minutes away from the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza. “Monza is my track and I can’t wait to compete there. I just want to forget about my race at Spa. When I tried to overtake Zöchling in the first lap, Ledogar appeared and I was suddenly out. I have to see what happened there.” In Monza, the grid lineup will again include more than 30 vehicles.
Race 7 Spa
1. Philipp Eng (A/Market Leader Team by Project 1)
2. Sven Müller (D/Team Lechner Racing Middle East)
3. Christian Engelhart (D/MRS GT-Racing)
4. Christopher Zöchling (A/Fach Auto Tech)
5. Jeffrey Schmidt (CH/The Heart of Racing by Lechner)
Points’ standings after 7 of 11 races
1. Philipp Eng (A/Market Leader Team by Project 1), 118 points
2. Christian Engelhart (D/MRS GT-Racing), 98
3. Alex Riberas (E/The Heart of Racing by Lechner), 83