Spa 24: Rodney Forbes race report

Forbes second in Spa 24 hour race Australia's Rodney Forbes has finished in an impressive second place in the G3 class and 11th outright in the Spa 24 Hour Race, continuing a stellar year of sports car results. Forbes was recruited to ...

Forbes second in Spa 24 hour race

Australia's Rodney Forbes has finished in an impressive second place in the G3 class and 11th outright in the Spa 24 Hour Race, continuing a stellar year of sports car results.

Forbes was recruited to M0x00fchlner Motorsport for the iconic endurance event, sharing driving duties with Belgians Christian Lefort and Francois Verbist in the #123 Porsche GT3 997 Cup S. The vastly-experienced operation had taken class honours in every previous attempt and the pace of the Porsche was evident early, with the teammates hovering at the top of the timesheets throughout practice.

The #123 machine qualified 4th in its class and 22nd outright, lapping the 7.0km circuit with a best time of 2:30.648.

Just hours into the race, clear class pacesetters began to emerge, indicating a battle between three marques -- Ford, Aston Martin and Porsche.

The M0x00fchlner Motorsport machine forged on through the evening, with fast, error-free laps keeping it in the hunt within the top three.

Forbes' stints behind the wheel were consistent with his experienced teammates' times, and he played a significant role in setting up a shot at victory as the major class rivals began to falter.

A late upset seemed on the cards, with the lead car completing a number of unscheduled stops to repair damage to the undertray and rear wing.

The #123 machine made steady ground but would ultimately finish a lap short of the G3 winner.

Between them, the trio turned 518 laps, with Forbes saying the opportunity and result had been incredibly rewarding.

"We had good pace aboard the #123 Porsche, from practice and qualifying we could tell the fight in the G3 class would be between Ford, Aston Martin and ourselves," said Forbes.

"The race was a real test of endurance and forced me to put every skill I've ever developed as a driver to work.

"The track itself was incredibly tough -- high-speed and undulating.

"The team had won the class in every previous attempt and we were challenging strongly for the top position for much of the race.

"In the end the Ford put too many laps on us, and despite problems, came home just ahead, seeing us finish second."

The result further reflects Forbes' growing proficiency in sports car competition.

The Australian has not finished off the podium after six starts in three separate cars in the 2009 VLN Series at the Nurburgring in Germany.

He won his first outing with Manthey Racing aboard a Porsche GT3 and returned to finish second in round two.

-credit: rf

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About this article
Series Blancpain Sprint
Drivers Rodney Forbes , Christian Lefort