Devon Modell concluded a trying weekend in the Blancpain Endurance Series at his home circuit, Silvertone, 13th in the Pro AM category and has now set his sights on a podium finish in the Hankook 24H Series’ 12 Hours of Zandvoort (29-30 May).
Taking to Silverstone’s 3.66mile Grand Prix configuration for the first of three qualifying sessions on Sunday (24 May), Modell set the third fastest time (2m03.703s) in the Pro AM category and was on course to better that, before typical British Bank Holiday wet weather put an end to it.
With over 60 cars entered, traffic was a major issue for much of the field and Modell’s Ecurie Ecosse teammate, Oliver Bryant, had his hot lap compromised by a Pro Cup-entered Audi R8 LMS Ultra, scuppering a potential top-five grid position for the headlining three-hour endurance race later that day.
Modell was the first to take the reins of the Barwell Motorsport-prepared Ecurie Ecosse BMW Z4 GT3 in the race and, like many others on the grid, explored the limits while trying to negotiate his way through the field and climb the leaderboard during his 50-minute stint.
The Kent racer was noticeably quick through the corners thanks to the car’s nimbleness, but it was on the straights that his hard work was undone.
Nevertheless, Modell continued to push on and remained out of trouble as others around him traded paint to hand his BMW over to teammates Alasdair McCaig and Bryant, who would eventually cross the line 31st overall and 13th in the Pro AM category.
“It wasn’t the greatest of weekends at a track where the BMW is meant to be quickest,” said Modell. “The Ecurie Ecosse team did a great job and the car felt good, but it doesn’t have the outright speed of some of our rivals. It was hard work trying to make enough speed up in the corners to cover the speed deficit on the straights. I never thought I’d say this, but, with over 60 cars out on track, Silverstone was too small. Looking at the driver tracker, there was never a clear gap for any driver to set a fully representative time. On the whole, I was happy with my stint during the race. It was a little frustrating, but you have to make the best of a bad situation, and that is exactly what I did.”
Following a highly successful start to his Hankook 24H Series campaign, which has seen him stand on the podium twice in Dubai and Italy, Modell will be vying for a third straight podium this weekend at Zandvoort alongside teammates John Gilbert and Ollie Hancock.
Prior to this weekend’s endurance race, Modell has jetted out early to The Netherlands to help teammate Gilbert learn the intricacies of the 2.68mile Zandvoort circuit.
Located on the Dutch North Sea coastline, Zandvoort’s offers a plethora of challenges for drivers, and Modell will be using the coaching session to learn the circuit and maximise his chances of recording another podium to pressurise on category leaders, Optimum Motorsport.
While sitting in the departure lounge prior to his flight to The Netherlands, Modell said: “Every race I have done that’s 12 hours or longer I have come away with a podium, so it will be nice to continue that trend and maybe achieve a class win this time around. I am helping John (Gilbert) on Tuesday and Wednesday (26-27 May), and I have the morning to go out and learn the track… I hope. I’ve had six hours at home since the Blancpain outing to get everything sorted for this weekend. A weekend usually consists of me watching videos of the circuit and talking to several people to fully understand the circuit in preparation, before taking to it myself.”
Qualifying for the Hankook 24H Series’ 12 Hours of Zandvoort is scheduled to get underway at 14.10 on Friday (29 May), with the endurance race later that day at 16.00, which will run for three hours before taking an overnight break and getting back underway at 08.43 the following day (Saturday 30 May).
For more information on Devon Modell and his racing activities, please follow @Devon_Modell on Twitter.