It was a maiden victory for Team Abba Racing in the Intelligent Money British GT Championship during a dramatic two-hour race of attrition at Donington Park (11th July 2021).
Richard and Sam Neary not only took their first win of the championship but also became British GT’s first-ever father/son race winners which vaulted them up to tied third.
Team Abba Racing’s Mercedes-AMG started 10th after being forced to miss qualifying following a brake disc failure that destroyed the Mercedes-AMG’s front-right suspension during Saturday’s second practice session.
The team, however, were confident after Sunday morning warm-up before the race and immediately made ground at the start of the race before Leo Machitski clipped Michael Igoe’s spinning Lamborghini, which was tapped around by Nick Jones at Redgate on lap one. The accident sent cars scattering in avoidance, but Richard Neary made it through unscathed to occupy second behind Ian Loggie at the restart.
The race resumed once both cars had been recovered but was back under caution soon after when several GT4 cars came to blows. Neary took the opportunity at the restart to dive down the inside of Loggie into Redgate. His attempts to break clear were briefly delayed by a third Safety Car while debris was recovered, but he duly opened a three-second advantage once sustained racing finally began after 28 minutes.
Loggie had closed to within 1.5s of Neary before both pitted at the first opportunity. RAM’s 10s Success Penalty relieved some of the pressure of a race between mechanics, but Sam Neary still emerged with his father’s advantage plus RAM’s handicap intact.
The smart money would have been on the more experienced Yelmer Buurman chipping away at Neary’s lead, but it was actually the 19-year-old who slowly edged clear during his composed 55-minute stint to ultimately take the chequered flag 15.9s clear. It truly was the ultimate dad and lad’s day out.
This year’s Intelligent Money British GT Championship continues at Spa-Francorchamps on July 24/25.
Last year Sam Neary proved a revelation during his maiden British GT campaign and his ability in wet and changeable conditions was comparable with far more experienced factory drivers, while his pace in the dry also took a notable step forward as the season progressed.
This year Sam was selected to join the Motorsport UK Academy’s Team UK Futures programme, the governing body’s talent development pathway that equips the UK’s most promising young drivers with the knowledge, skills and attitude needed to maximise their performance https://www.motorsportuk.org/news/motorsport-uk-academy-selections-2021/
This year nineteen-year-old Sam has joined the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) as a Rising Star. The BRDC Rising Stars are aged under 24 and viewed as the `future of the club’, taking their motor racing seriously and aiming for a professional career within the sport.
Commenting on the prestigious appointment Sam Neary said: “This is a huge honour, and I am very pleased to know that my achievements to date having been recognised by such an influential organisation; I am really looking forward to representing the BRDC.”
More information about Sam Neary is available at www.samnearyracing.com