Devon Modell is upbeat after battling to fourth in Pro-Am upon his return to the Blancpain Endurance Series at the evocative Autodromo Nazionale Monza (23-24 April).
Modell of Maidstone, Kent joined Ahmad Al Harthy and Jonny Adam in the Motorbase Performance-run Oman Racing Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3, and an impressive showing from all three drivers resulted in a highly creditable fourth place finish in the Blancpain Endurance Series’ super-competitive Pro-Am division.
A spectacular 57-car field turned out at Monza and it was evident from the outset of free practice on Saturday (23 April) that the Oman Racing team possessed enough speed to push for the Pro-Am pole.
However, qualifying on Sunday (24 April) morning was a closely contested affair, and the #44 Aston Martin of Modell, Al Harthy and Adam ended up 13th overall and sixth in class with little more than two tenths of a second separating them and the eventual polesitters.
The result and the closeness of the Pro-Am pack boded well for the race, which began with Al Harthy scything his way into P2 in class to get in among the Pro-Cup contingent as the first round of stops were carried out.
Aston Martin Evolution Academy recruit, Modell, gladly stepped into the breach on lap 31. He exited the pits in 15th overall and third in the Pro-Am classification, and maintained position for the duration of his stint, before handing the reins to Adam with just under an hour to run.
Sadly, the pace of the Ferraris on their home turf was too much for the Motorbase-prepared Aston Martin and the team narrowly missed out on a class podium, receiving the chequered flag in 13th overall and fourth in Pro-Am.
While slightly disappointed, Modell is pragmatic and sees the bigger picture, saying: “If you had offered us a fourth in class finish before the weekend, I think we would have all jumped up and down and snapped your arm off. To come away from the weekend feeling a little disappointed with a good result shows the progress we made and just how competitive we were.
“Points in the bag at the first race is always a good start and we brought the car back in one piece. There are a lot of positives to take away from Monza. We’ve shown this weekend that we have the pace against the competition and that we should be competing at the front this year.”=