The DTM points leader was carrying 25kg of success ballast after winning the opening race, with Eng appearing the faster of both. But his likelihood of victory were thwarted by way of a safety car, introduced when Rene Rast was punted in to the gravel by David Schumacher, that coincided with the beginning of the pit window.
With DTM rules prohibiting teams double-stacking their cars under safety car conditions, Eng had to remain out as van der Linde led a lot of the field in to the pits on lap seven, completing a slow tour before to arrive the next lap and rejoining 17th.
Eng was then eliminated at the restart when Felipe Fraga pushed Clemens Schmid’s Lamborghini into him and he “got an ABS error, something broke on the front-right I believe”.
It had been the next time Eng have been influenced by the rule after an early on safety car in the next race at Imola, where he previously been running before van der Linde, that also shook up the order and required him to fight to sixth on his teammate’s tail.
Eng told Motorsport.com that the Nurburgring race have been “this type of missed chance” to score an initial victory of the entire year, as “we’d the pace to win this race today”.
Philipp Eng, Schubert Motorsport BMW M4 GT3
Photo by: DTM
“At Norisring we’d a complete course yellow for some laps [at the beginning of the pit window after Alessio Deledda punted Esteban Muth into Franck Perera], and in my own eyes this worked perfectly,” he said.
“You merely, when there is an incident, put the entire course yellow out, wait until everybody did their pitstop and the race can live green again without the issues.
“Since it stands now, you screw over 50% of the field, or perhaps a bit less because there are a few teams that have one gantry only.
“Maybe this needs some rethinking, since it was also the case that it had been the problem in Imola for me personally, and here aswell.”
SSR Performance driver Laurens Vanthoor was running ninth before the safety car, three spots behind eventual runner-up Dennis Olsen. The Belgian was also influenced by the rule, needing to follow Eng around for another lap before pitting and rejoined behind the pack.
Talking with Motorsport.com after finishing 11th, he agreed with Eng that the ruling was “unfair” and revealed that it had “been discussed already multiple times” with disgruntled drivers.
“You’re obviously always more vocal if you are for the reason that situation in comparison to if you are not, but I hardly understand how this type of rule may also exist,” he said.
“1 / 2 of the field comes with an unfair chance and their race basically gets screwed completely. I was at the stage where I was second-to-last, due to this.
“It’s unfair for 1 / 2 of the field. I was in the problem but I’d think exactly the same if it had been another way around.
“I don’t see absolutely any valid point why to accomplish it in this manner.”