Modell heads to Italy’s ‘Temple of Speed’ for Blancpain opener

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Autodromo Nazionale Monza hosts top class international GT racing for the opening round of the Blancpain Endurance Series this weekend (11-12 April), and Devon Modell will pilot an Ecurie Ecosse BMW Z4 GT3 run by Barwell Motorsport in the Pro-Am category.

Maidstone’s Modell opened his 2015 account with a podium finish at the Dubai 24 Hours, before conquering Australia’s Mount Panorama circuit in the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, and the 24-year old will be looking to further his rapidly expanding endurance racing résumé during a full season in the flourishing Blancpain Endurance Series, which begins with an outing at Italy’s ‘Temple of Speed’, Monza.

Located north of Milan, drivers will spend the majority of the lap on full throttle. Its unique, high-speed configuration encompasses a number of long straights that are punctuated by chicanes, including the Variante Ascari and Rettifilo.

At just 24-years old, Modell is still at the tip of his career, but, having tested with the Ecurie Ecosse team earlier in the year at Monza and Paul Ricard, he is confident that he will handle the transition from GT4 machinery to GT3 and go on to maintain his 100 per cent podium finishing record in 2015.

Partnering Alasdair McCaig and Olly Bryant, Modell is no newcomer to the premier endurance racing series, having contested the 2014 season finale at the iconic Nürburgring, where he overcame monsoon conditions to record a second in class finish in a Black Falcon Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3.

“I’m really looking forward to this weekend,” said Modell. “It’s obviously a big step-up from my time in the Avon Tyres British GT championship and Renault UK Clio Cup, but I am interested to see how we get on at Monza. We know the car won’t suit the track as much as our other competitors, but the BMW Z4 is a very strong package and is quicker through the tight and twisty corners.

“While testing at Paul Ricard for the Official Media Day, we ran a near-race run in the afternoon, and, for the first time against our rivals, we were able to pick up a lot of useful data. Coupled with what we learnt at the test in Monza, we should do well, but you don’t know where you stand until the weekend arrives.”

For more information on Devon Modell and his racing activities, please follow@Devon_Modell on Twitter.