Philipp Eng emerged quite literally from the gloom at the Circuit of the Americas to claim the 2015 Porsche Mobil1 Supercup title by finishing eighth in a treacherous race that saw Alex Riberas take his first victory in the championship.
It was Sven Müller who had looked set to star, after an impressive run of success in the second half of the 2015 campaign in his Lechner Racing Middle East run car.
His hopes of stealing the title away from Austrian Eng were dealt a blow when the opening race of the weekend was cancelled, effectively guaranteeing the Team Project 1 man his first Supercup title.
The final nail in Müller’s championship coffin was hammered in when Riberas stole the race lead he had held from the safety car start of the season finale and then to finish it off The Heart of Racing by Lechner man waltzed off into the distance.
Müller was further demoted by Michael Ammermüller in another Lechner run machine and as Eng serenely avoided the carnage in eighth, a safe and secure drive saw him deservedly take the title.
Christian Engelhart had been Eng’s closest challenger going into Austin for MRS-GT Racing but it was a bad weekend for the Porsche veteran who struggled home a lowly thirteenth in the final round of 2015 and even lost third in the series to Ammermüller.
One place ahead of the defeated Engelhart was Paul Rees in a MOMO-Megatron Team PARTRAX machine. Rees enjoyed his second Austin appearance and drove very well in tricky conditions to outrace a good deal of Supercup regulars.
Ryan Cullen’s difficult year for the VERVA Lechner Racing Team was perked up considerably by a well earned fifteenth, while Ben Barker in a second MOMO car rounded off a year of highs and lows with sixth.
Eng has finally climbed to the top of the tallest single-make Porsche racing tree following success in the Carrera Cup Deutschland last year. Whether he can emulate 2014 Supercup champion Earl Bamber and make a claim for a Le Mans shot with the LMP1 Porsche squad is another matter. Although, come to think of it, the third Porsche entry to the world’s greatest sportscar race does need a stand-in for Formula 1’s Nico Hülkenberg, who looks set to be occupied in Baku. Hopefully for Eng, opportunity will nock.