Devon Modell left the Shanghai International Circuit content following another strong showing Sunday (24 September) in the Blancpain GT Series Asia that netted a strong ninth position, sixth position in class.
With backing for the event from Shang Peng, the #88 Craft-Bamboo Racing 991 GT3R featured a striking new livery and with championship positions in the balance, Devon and teammate Nick Foster were keen to put on a good show in front of thousands of guests, media and press.
The opening race of the weekend however proved to be a frustrating one, with Foster qualifying the Porsche in a strong sixth position before making a good getaway in drying conditions. However, as the field funnelled into the first turn, a controversial tap from a rival sent the car into a spin.
Stranded on the racing line, Foster was unfortunate to be collected by Andrew Kim’s Bentley before he was able to resume.
With the early exit from the first race, the pressure was on Devon to perform in the second and that he certainly did. Qualifying saw Devon placed in the pro-class for the session and as ever he rose to the challenge amongst the most competitive GT3 drivers in the world to claim a very solid ninth position.
In fact, Devon’s best lap in qualifying – set ahead of the first race – was just a fraction slower than that managed by factory Porsche-specialist and Le Mans winner Earl Bamber and underlined the confidence gained from the recent run of podiums.
The start saw Modell maintain position initially during the frenetic opening laps but a small mistake saw him lose ground. Very much playing the waiting game, Modell paced himself and then with a string of fast laps he moved up to 12th before handing over to Foster at the end of the tenth lap. Foster made best of a good run to take the chequered flag 14 laps later in ninth.
“The first race was one to forget unfortunately,” Devon explained. “I thought we had a good shot at winning that one, but the first corner incident eliminated us from the race. Qualifying for the second was tough, but I was happy to be ninth on the grid and mixing it with the best. The race went to plan apart from one small mistake, so we can be pretty content with our pace, if not the points haul from the weekend.”
Devon next heads to Zhejiang, China for the final round of the Championship 13-15 October, a week earlier than originally scheduled.