British racer Devon Modell made his debut today (22 January, 2017) in the Eurasia supported WINEURASIA entry in the final race of the 2016/17 Asian Le Mans Series at Sepang and secured a strong fifth place finish in hot and humid conditions in Malaysia.
Modell, who has vast experience in GT machinery, spent the three practice sessions getting acclimatised to the #99 Ligier JSP3 and working with new teammates Scott Andrews and Williams Lok. From driver changes, to working through the telemetry, Modell picked up the pace in each session, recording his best laps prior to handing the car over to Andrews to qualify.
Starting second in class, sixth overall, Modell took the first stint of the four-hour endurance event, steering clear of the first lap incident to run fourth on the road. As the faster LMP2 got back up to speed, Modell ran a solid sixth overall once again and pitted from the class lead and 3rd overall at the conclusion of his stint.
“That was good. Very good,” Modell stated. “The start was incredibly hectic with the incident at the first turn and then we had the safety car. Things settled down after that and I was driving alone for a while. Then the #35 Jackie Chan car engine failed right in front of me and showered my car with oil and smoke. That made visibility tougher, as while I could see okay, certain marker points such as kerbs were fuzzy and that made it harder to commit to the corners.
“The GT cars were tough to pass as they are quicker than us in a straight line and have the same braking points,” Modell continued. “You had to plan ahead and get them through the faster corners, but that was quite a learning experience. If we had come here in a GT car, I would have up to speed after a few laps.
“However, this weekend I had to learn the track, the car, the team and battle the climate. Even with all the practice time on paper, it’s really not that much when you have to split it between three drivers and allow for all the stoppages that occur. It’s only into the race that you get a good long run to really get into it.
“This event has given me a great deal of confidence for the next time I step into an LMP car.”