Image credit: M Photographic.
SportscarGlobal columnist Devon Modell maintained his 100 per cent podium finishing record in 2015 after crossing the line third in class at the 24H Series Hankook 12 Hours of Mugello behind the wheel of a Speedworks Motorsport-run Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT4 (13-14 March).
After spending several days at Circuit Paul Ricard shaking down the Barwell Motorsport-run Ecurie Ecosse BMW Z4 GT3, which he will pilot in the Blancpain Endurance Series this season, Devon jetted off to Tuscany to contest the second round of the Hankook 24H Series at Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello.
Devon, who partnered Ollie Hancock and John Gilbert, opened his account on Friday finishing the 90-minute session free practice session second in class, before qualifying a dissatisfying seventh later that day.
With only four hours of racing on the opening day due to an overnight noise curfew, Speedworks Motorsport’s first priority was to remain on the lead lap and stay out of trouble.
Hancock was first to direct the V8 Vantage GT4 and had leapt up the SP3 class leaderboard to engage in a fraught fight for the final podium position with the Cor Euser Racing Lotus Evora as the first hour came to a close.
After 39 laps and 90 minutes of racing, Hancock handed the reins to Modell, who, having finished runner-up in the 2014 Avon Tyres British GT Championship in a similar GT4-spec Aston Martin, made an immediate impact on the race by overhauling the #221 Nova Race Ginetta G50 for third.
Lapping significantly faster than his SP3 class rivals, Modell shortened the deficit to the leading duo but was stymied by the lengthy refuelling process mandated by the series organisers, although he ended a spirited drive on lap 87 still in the top three.
With cars placed under parc fermé conditions throughout the night, Hancock was again first to step into the cockpit on Saturday (14 March) and begin the final eight hours of the once-around-the-clock enduro.
Modell helped push the team further up the leaderboard during his opening stint of the day on Saturday and Speedworks Motorsport remained on course for a podium finish as Gilbert took the wheel once again.
Returning to the cockpit for the final two hours, Modell put hammer to nail and lapped consistently in the 2m02s to fortify the Cheshire-based team’s position.
With little over 30 minutes remaining, Modell continued to show great speed and determination to pass Nova Race and, after 12 hours and 988miles of stirring racing, the 24-year old greeted the chequered flag 20th overall and third in class to underline his endurance racing credentials.
The result will undoubtedly serve to boost Modell’s confidence further ahead of the opening round of the 2015 Blancpain Endurance Series at the legendary Autodromo Nazionale Monza next month (11-12 April) and his first competitive outing with the Ecurie Ecosse team.