The Porsche Carrera Cup of Deutschland is the German manufactures’ national showpiece. Grids regularly nudge forty entrants. Whether you have four or forty entrants though, is irrelevant in a sense. There can only ever be one winner.
Philipp Eng (Team Deutsche Post by Project 1) entered the Hockenheim series finale as the dark horse. A judicial decision before the last weekend though, rewarded the German with a huge haul of well-earned points. More significantly, he jumped from third to first in the standings.
This was not the best news for the man who was second in the standings approaching the world famous Grand Prix venue but third when he arrived there. Christian Engelhart of Konrad Motorsport did not appear to let the renewed attack from Eng faze him. For the Saturday, he took pole position and after lights out, he took off. Nicki Thiim (Walter Lechner Racing Team) and Eng’s teammate Sven Müller did the best they could to track down the championship hopeful.
They were helped by an early race safety car that would belay the carnage to come later in the weekend. It would though have little effect on the leading trio who once again charged towards the chequered flag. Or rather, not for the first time in 2014, a flag more crimson in complexion.
Contact among backmarkers spread coolant all over the circuit on the eleventh lap and with only three left to run, the organisers took the only professional decision and stopped the race. The podium trio was set. In fourth though, was the man with the most critical part to play in the weekend. Michael Ammermüller (Walter Lechner Racing Team) had looked set to be the star, the championship leader leaving the previous round at the Sachsenring. Arriving at Hockenheim, judicial proceedings and Eng deposed him to second.
So what of the new found championship leader. Having qualified eight, three places behind Ammermüller he climbed a single spot to seventh. His championship lead was reduced to six points. Yet chaos was to come on Sunday.
The colour was red. Again. If you were to look for a defining image of the Carrera Cup Deutschland season, it was the red flag that flew and signalled the end of the final race of the year. There were simply too many incidents to list. Numerous incidences of contact. Two safety cars. One collision significant enough to cut the season short.
Amongst the crashing, there was a motor race going on. One that mattered. Ammermüller started on pole and did all he could to win the title that he had looked set to grab leaving the Sachsenring. Yet ironically, it was his teammate Thiim trying his absolute hardest to spoil his camp mates’ chances, the pair battling harder than any two men in the same team have thus far done in 2014.
Serenity was to be found in third. Found in Eng. Found in the champion. What had looked improbable and practically impossible after the previous round appeared a lot easier when the German arrived in Hockenheim. To call his drives conservative does not do him justice. In the finale Saturday podium finisher Sven Müller leapt ahead but Eng coolly reclaimed the position he needed to be crowned.
It seems fitting to this author that amongst the, at times farcical, contact and incidents that swept through the Carrera Cup Deutschland in 2014 and amongst a storm of chaos both politically before and on track during the finale, Eng kept his head throughout. Ammermüller and Engelhart would have, could have and perhaps should have made deserving champions. But in the end there can only be one winner. Whether four cars or forty. For the Porsche Carrera Cup of Deutschland 2014, that winner was Philipp Eng.