Cumbrian Alex MacDowall delivered his best performance of the season so far to take a podium finish.

The Carlisle racer and his Garage 59 team-mates claimed third place in the Silver Cup during the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa in Belgium.

It saw MacDowall fight back after a challenging qualifying session as the 30-year-old and Garage 59 team-mates Valentin Hasse-Clot, Nicolai Kjaergaard and Tuomas Tujula produced an impressive showing in the twice-round-the-clock contest.

“We definitely had the pace to win, the car was really strong throughout, but I’m happy to come away from the biggest race of the year with third place and our first podium of the season”, said MacDowall, the reigning Silver Cup champion.

“Just to finish the 24 hours is a pat on the back - it’s such a tough race and so much has to work out for you to even get to the end.

“Although we had quite a lot of rain during the race, all of my stints were in the dry so I feel like I got the easy end of it all really – although I did have some fog in one of my stints, you literally couldn’t see the next corner.

“Qualifying didn’t go to plan, so we just had to stay out of trouble in the race and deliver the pace we knew we had. All four of us were quick and well matched, it’s a great result.”

It left MacDowall and his Aston Martin team-mates in 10th place overall in the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup ‘Silver Cup’ standings, on 28 points.

The third-placed finish followed a frustrating qualifying session which was interrupted by two red-flag stoppages and MacDowall’s best lap hindered by a slowed amateur driver. But MacDowall made rapid gains in Saturday’s race on a drier surface, climbing in the the Silver Cup top 10.

Through the various pit-stops and driver changes during the small hours of Sunday morning, the team climbed towards a podium position. A second-placed finish was on the cards at one stage before a burst of wet weather, and an issue with the car’s door catch, meant they had to settle for third in the Silver Cup and 14th overall.

Germany’s Nurburgring will host round four of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS Endurance Cup on the weekend of September 4-5.