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Statement from Abba Racing

This weekend, Team Abba Racing’s Gen 1 Mercedes will be competing with an extra 15kg of weight to that of the upgraded Evo spec Mercedes.

SRO, the governing body of the British GT Championship, is believed to be uncomfortable that a Gen 1 Mercedes took pole position at this month’s Silverstone 500. On Friday last week the Balance of Performance (BOP) for all cars was made available and Team Abba was given a BOP 15kg heavier than all other GT3 Mercedes competing this weekend.

The team was advised earlier this week that ‘the car is outside the performance window of the 2019 Evo’. Team Abba Racing believes this to be a penalty against driver ability and not the car. It further believes it confirms that its drivers, Richard and Sam Neary, continue to aggravate some with their strong driver pace in what is an older specification car. The team’s Gen 1 Mercedes is not faster than the Evo upgraded Mercedes, a fact that is established through timed sector analysis of all BGT races this year and last.

Furthermore, this decision implies that Mercedes has produced an upgrade to its GT3 car that is slower than the original Gen 1. Mercedes is currently supporting the team in lobbying the SRO about this matter but as yet no reversal has been forthcoming.

The team is astonished by this decision and has lobbied since Monday for it to be reversed; earlier this week team principal Richard Neary advised the SRO of its intention to appeal. The SRO has now changed the championship’s sporting and technical regulations yesterday in relation to regulation 9.1.6 preventing such an appeal.

As those that follow Abba Racing will know, the team is a small family run race team that has competed in the British GT Championship for the past nine years. It operates a tight ship and runs on a slim budget. The father and son pairing have gone from strength to strength in recent years and despite their Silver/AM status compete at the front with the Pro/AM drivers each race weekend.

This week’s decision by SRO means Team Abba Racing will no longer be able to compete on a level playing field with its peers. The team has asked for some evidence to substantiate this decision, but nothing has been forthcoming.

The Evo upgrade was introduced in 2019 and both the Gen 1 and Evo specification cars have always carried identical weight. If, as it appears, this is a `cosmetic upgrade’ that is required then the question is why Team Abba was not given the opportunity to complete this as part of a winter rebuild programme and certainly before testing in the Spring.

As it stands, it is impossible to purchase the upgrade kit for this round which leaves the Team going into qualifying with ‘one hand tied behind its back’.

Team Abba currently has no points in the championship and is not in the running for the Silver Am class. It strongly believes this penalty to be unfair and inappropriate.



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