While it was certainly no shock to see Romeo Ferraris-M1RA score a one-two finish during the PURE ETCR season, surely nobody could have expected that it would be led by a debutant!
But that’s exactly what happened on the streets of Copenhagen as Philipp Eng announced his arrival into the world’s first all-electric, multi-brand touring car series, in emphatic style.
Entering the series at the midway point after Stefano Coletti had left the team, the Austrian ace electrified the streets of the Danish capital from the get-go in his Giulia ETCR; winning his first-ever Battle in the opening round against Mikel Azcona and Tom Chilton.
He continued his super-impressive form through the weekend to put himself in contention for a remarkable result.
Team-mate Luca Filippi’s forceful pass on Mattias Ekström right before the finish line of DHL SuperFinal A meant that Eng knew a victory of his own in DHL SuperFinal B would be enough to make him King of the Weekend.
This he managed in commanding fashion, fending off an early challenge from Chilton and keeping a small, but important, advantage throughout.
With Filippi second overall it completed the first one-two in PURE ETCR and led to highly-charged scenes on the podium from the team; the success coming just a week after the sad passing of Aldo Cerruti – the man who inspired the Giulia ETCR project.
The momentum continued to the next event in Hungary; Eng again a front-runner throughout to take his Battle win total to four and to collect second place overall after another DHL SuperFinal win.
The French finale was less successful; his collision with Ekström at the start of DHL SuperFinal B leading to high drama and Eng’s retirement; a result that left him 11th in the points (a mere finish would have guaranteed him eighth).
Should be return in 2022 for a full season, a full-on title challenge would be no shock to anyone.