Vale-based trio battle it out at Spa
Brothers, Dario and Marino Franchitti, teamed-up with 7-time NASCAR Cup champion, Jimmie Johnson, for the race around the Ardennes track and drove hard to finish three laps shy from the top step of the podium.
Qualification sessions for the race were held in torrential rain, but race day provided better conditions and the race was able to start in late afternoon sunshine before competitors raced into the darkness and a 10pm finish.
The race marked the first time the trio had shared a car together, although all have enjoyed hugely successful careers. Dario Franchitti has previously won four IndyCar Drivers' titles, including three victories in the famous Indianapolis 500, while his younger brother, Marino, has starred in numerous sportscar events, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Jimmie Johnson is a superstar in his native United States, and has raced to seven overall NASCAR titles. He was part of the Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet line-up in the NASCAR Chevrolet at Le Mans this year with Jenson Button and Mike Rockenfeller, and arrived at Spa fresh from competing in the Goodwood Revival event.
Despite missing out on finishing on the podium, the three racers hope to return next year to challenge for victory, with Johnson saying, "Spa is such an amazing track. Everyone knows about Spa-Francorchamps, and to race a Ford GT40 here has been an amazing experience. Sharing with Dario and Marino has been a great and I think we are all looking forward to the next one."
*Tom Ingram will fight to retain his Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship title at Brands Hatch on Sunday. The Hyundai EXCELR8 racer will start this weekend's final event of 2023 with a score of 353 points - a total of 45 points behind series leader, Ash Sutton (NAPA Racing Ford).
Qualifying for Ingram and fellow BTCC racers will take place on Saturday, with three races around the 1.2-mile Brands Hatch Indy Circuit on Sunday deciding the championship crown.
*Lewis Fox raced to a best result of ninth position at Silverstone on Saturday in his Team Fox Racing-entered Ray GR14 in a round of the BRSCC National Formula Ford Championship. Fox opened his day with an eleventh place finish in the first FF1600 race, on a day that saw Jordan Kelly (Team Dolan) claim the National Championship title.