Image Credit: Devon Modell Press Office
Making his debut ‘down under’, Maidstone based racer Devon Modell opened his weekend with a somewhat ‘unhinged’ moment when the driver’s door of his Rotek Racing Porsche 997 GT3 Cup car unseated itself while hurtling down the 1.91km-long Conrod Straight during Friday’s practice session.
The 24-year old, who opened his 2015 account with a podium finish in the ninth-annual Dubai 24 Hour last month and his teammates, Peter Rullo and Tim Macrow set the 33rd fastest time overall in Saturday’s one-hour qualifying session to start the once-around-the-clock race fifth in class.
As the sun began to rise over New South Wales, the state-of-the-art GT field lit up the Mount Panorama Circuit. Macrow was first to pilot the Porsche 997 GT3 Cup for the opening stint and the Australian driver did everything required of him, bringing the #64 car into the pits after 90 minutes of racing to hand the reins over to Rullo, who re-joined the race still fifth in class.
With clear blue skies above the ‘The Mountain’, Modell took control of the Rotek Racing 997 GT3 for his opening stint, pushing hard despite several Safety Car interruptions and clambered up the leaderboard before entering a tussle for the runner-up spot with Class B rival, Grove Group, as the race entered the latter half.
Throughout his stint, Modell and fellow British-driver, Ben Barker, continued to run nose-to-tail however Rullo and Macrow continued to make in-roads during their sessions.
As the race entered the closing hours a perfect driver-change ensured Modell returned to the cockpit of his #64 Porsche still in contention for honours and the Kent Young Gun vowing to fight tooth-and-nail up until the chequered flag to consolidate his position and chase down his rivals.
After 12 hours of racing, 19 Safety Car interruptions and 257 laps of the unforgiving Mount Panorama Circuit, Modell took the chequered flag 18th overall and third in class to stand on the winners’ rostrum after a spectacular debut.
“I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of racing in the 2015 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour and I’m delighted to have come away with a podium,” said Modell. “It is a fantastic track that requires your utmost attention
“I had never driven a Porsche 997 GT3 Cup in a competitive environment prior to the weekend. It was a relatively drama-free event for the team and I, which allowed me to set competitive lap times during my stints and equal the times recorded by my more experienced teammates.
“Overall, it was a great weekend and I would love to come back next year in a higher-powered GT3 car and challenge for an overall victory.”