Team ABBA Racing's Sam Neary has added to his track success by becoming the iZone Motorsport UK AASE Young Driver of the Year.
Sam, 17, from Merseyside was presented with the accolade at the Motorsport UK Night of Champions held each year at the Royal Automobile Club in Pall Mall, London.
The evening, hosted by sports presenter Steve Rider, saw Sam receive the award from Hugh Chambers, Motorsport UK’s CEO. Sam along with four others were shortlisted for the award. They attended a full day’s assessment before Christmas at iZone Motorsport in Silverstone which involved a range of Sim challenges, fitness tests, a presentation and panel interview.
Considered the most consistent performer overall, judges from Motorsport UK, Loughborough College, Motorsport News and iZone Driver Performance were impressed by Sam's performance on the day.
In addition, the work he has been doing away from the Academy, actively implementing what he has learnt from Motorsport UK’s AASE course at Loughborough, was also considered in the decision-making process.
Commenting upon his achievement Sam Neary said:" I am so pleased to have been given this award. I try to put 100 percent in to all that I do, whether on the track or in the classroom.
“The course and living away from home have taught me so much - independence, discipline, responsibility. It has expanded my knowledge base and given me the confidence to believe in my ability. I couldn't recommend Loughborough College and Motorsport UK more highly for the excellent work that they do with those keen to make it in the industry.
“It’s important to be an ambassador for Motorsport UK and the industry as a whole and I aim to give something back where I can. This year I am looking to support Limitless Motorsport*, to help coach their rookie drivers at Donington and Oulton Park.”
Last year, Sam who only started racing at the age 15, competed in Team Abba Racing’s BMW M3 GTR in the Britcar Dunlop Endurance Championship and the Creventic 24-hour series. By June he was testing the Mercedes AMG GT3. He competed successfully in the Mercedes in the Britcar Dunlop Endurance Championship and GT Cup from August (taking several pole positions, several firsts and Sunoco Driver of the Day twice).
This year Sam will join his father Richard aboard Team ABBA Racing’s Mercedes-AMG GT3 for the 2020 British GT Championship.
The family-run team has contested British GT since 2016, first with a BMW Z4 before switching to its current Mercedes-AMG which is returning for a fourth year.
At 17, Sam will become one of the youngest drivers in British GT3 history when he debuts at Oulton Park on 13th April.
*Based in Kent, Limitless Motorsport, formed through a passion for Motorsport, helps give disabled people the belief that they can succeed. The organisation aims to make Limitless Motorsport UK the #1 Disabled Racing Team in the UK.