BMW Team RMR driver Philipp Eng battled his way past Audi Sport Team Rosberg’s René Rast to take the second step on the podium in DTM race two at Misano, Italy. However, Eng believes it could have been him on the top step had he reduced his tyre conservation.
Nico Müller, who won the race for Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline, admitted to sacrificing his qualifying performance to focus on the race, and Eng echoed a similar strategy before being surprised by his own race speed.
“We sacrificed a little bit in qualifying,” the BMW driver explained, “we knew tyre management would be the key, but we had more pace than I expected in the race so this was really good.”
Throughout the race weekend at Misano, talk of the paddock has been how the Hankook tyres would fare over race stints as the new Class One specification DTM cars are more greedy on the rubber than previous machinery.
Eng, who felt on top of his tyre management, crossed the line some seven seconds behind Müller, but believes he could have attacked sooner and maybe challenged for the race win.
“I felt like I could manage the tyres quite easily and quite well,” Eng revealed, “I think I managed them a little too long. As I saw Nico disappearing, I was still nursing them.
“If I would have attacked maybe seven or eight laps earlier, it could have been closer.
“I just accepted he was gone and was concentrating on René and watching my mirrors what he was doing and I was doing just enough to keep my position.”
After making several overtaking moves earlier in the race to climb from ninth to third, Eng was able to pass Rast with a late lunge at T10, and the Austrian revealed he was well rehearsed in making passes at Misano.
“I decided in that moment, I think thats what we all do, rely on our instincts.
“I just felt like I could make it and I made it stick.
“Also yesterday I did one or two good overtakes on the brakes, so I felt pretty confident. This race was really good fun.”