Devon Modell concluded his 2015 Blancpain Endurance Series campaign with Ecurie Ecosse by finishing tenth in the Pro AM category in the iRacing.com GT500 title showdown at the Nürburgring (19-20 September).
Taking to the iconic German circuit for the first time during Saturday (19 September) morning’s Bronze Test, Modell and his teammates used the session to fettle the setup of the their BMW Z4 GT3 and to familiarise themselves with the track, where they set a best time of 2m00.062s.
Going nearly three seconds quicker in free practice later that day, Kent’s Modell then headed into a damp qualifying on Sunday (20 September) morning, where, after three shootout sessions, he helped position the Ecurie Ecosse team 37th overall.
The tension was tangible on the starting grid for the iRacing.com GT500, as several titles were still to be won, and Modell was able to keep himself out of trouble as paint was traded through the opening sequence of corners, climbing positions during the initial laps as others fell by the wayside.
Modell, who stood on the podium in last year’s event, calmly and methodically navigated his way round the Nürburgring’s Grand Prix circuit, which is located deep in Germany’s Eifel Mountains, doing everything required of him to lap at the same pace of the frontrunners.
At the conclusion of the first hour as pit strategies began to play out, Modell sat comfortably in 14th position overall and inside the top ten in the Pro AM classification prior to handing the reins of the Barwell Motorsport-prepared BMW over to his equally experienced teammates, Alasdair McCaig and Oliver Bryant, for the last time in 2015.
Ecurie Ecosse ultimately took the chequered flag tenth in class and Modell said: “It was a good race from my point of view, but disappointing for the team, as we didn’t get the result we should have. Free practice was in cold, wet and windy conditions that I’m very familiar with and I lapped inside the top ten. It was then qualifying, which was still slightly damp and I set a time that was good for 15th overall, but it then dried out and we finished 37th.
“As for the race itself, I took the start and tried to stay out of trouble through the first complex, because, with around 40 cars on the same piece of track, space is at a premium. Overtaking can be quite hard at the Nürburgring, but, once you find out where the strengths of your car are, it becomes quite easy. I really enjoyed my stint, getting into some tight battles. I brought the car into the pits in 14th and handed over to Alasdair (McCaig) and Oliver (Bryant), who both did an excellent job. We had a wheel nut issue in one of the stops, which cost us some time and several places.”
Modell continued: “It has been a very challenging season. Ecurie Ecosse did a brilliant job and I cannot fault them. They worked tirelessly and it’s a shame we didn’t come away with stronger results, but it was great to be stood on the podium at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. The car is slightly weaker than others, such as the Audi and Ferraris, but it is very rewarding if you get it right. It just doesn’t have the overtaking abilities of the other cars. Nonetheless, it has been a great season and I have enjoyed it.”
Modell will now turn his attention to the HANKOOK 24 Series’ season finale at the Czech Republic’s Automotodrom Brno next month (9-10 October).