Oliver Bryant Racing

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14th April 2015

Battle-Scarred Ecurie Ecosse Fight Back To Finish P12 At Monza

Ecurie Ecosse Powered By Black Bull made the most of a difficult afternoon on Sunday at Monza where Alasdair McCaig, Oliver Bryant and Devon Modell finished 12th in Pro Am at the opening round of this year’s Blancpain Endurance Series.

The historic Italian circuit’s high-speed nature was never likely to suit the team’s Barwell Motorsport-run BMW Z4 GT3, a fact exacerbated by the straight-line speed advantage enjoyed by the significant Ferrari contingent. And that certainly proved the case in qualifying when the same squad that finished third in points last season could manage no better than 17th.

A field comprising almost 60 entries was always likely to produce an action-packed start, and that certainly proved the case as each driver jostled for an opening. New recruit Devon Modell did a good job to initially pick up several places before being forced into the Curva Grande gravel trap while avoiding a stranded car. But with the pack scattering contact was inevitable, and the BMW emerged from the incident with a damaged front splitter and crumpled rear bodywork.

The combination of top-end speed deficit and ill-handling was hardly a recipe for success, but Modell battled gamely on throughout his stint before making way for McCaig, who was equally resolute over the next 30 or so laps.

And after Bryant had successfully made up a couple of positions over the final hour, the legendary Scottish squad was able to ‘celebrate’ finishing five places higher than where it started and claim the bragging rights for first Pro Am-entered BMW home.

Nevertheless, the team still felt somewhat aggrieved by the clear Balance of Performance advantages enjoyed by other manufacturers.

Alasdair McCaig: “We couldn’t have tried any harder this weekend. The drivers and team did the best job possible and didn’t put a foot wrong. To only be ‘rewarded’ with 12th position highlights how flawed the BoP is for the BMW Z4 at Monza. We look forward to participating on a more level playing field at Silverstone.”

Oliver Bryant: “That was a tough weekend to finish 12th in class! First BMW home is some consolation but the gap in pace to the others, especially the Ferraris, was too much this weekend. The team did a great job at the stops and Ali and Devon both drove well to deal with the damage incurred during the first lap mayhem. Roll on Silverstone, which should play to the Z4’s strengths.”

Devon Modell: “It was a challenging weekend and a steep learning curve. The team did a brilliant job to give us a competitive car, even though the BMW did not have the outright pace in it to match many of the others. It’s a shame we missed out on points after all the team’s hard work and the stints Ali and Olly put in; they both drove brilliantly all weekend and deserved something from it. I’m now very much looking forward to Silverstone and hopefully a much more level playing field.”

Mark Lemmer, Barwell Motorsport Team Principal: “Monza is always tough on us thanks to its high-speed layout comprising long straights and sweeping corners, which is perfect for the Ferraris we battled so hard for little reward. But I’m confident we will fight back at Silverstone.”

Ecurie Ecosse travels to Rockingham on May 2/3 for round two of this year’s British GT Championship, while its Blancpain Endurance Series campaign continues at Silverstone on May 23/24.