It was another successful outing at Brands Hatch in Kent this weekend (22nd/23rd May) for Team Abba Racing in the opening round of the 2021 Intelligent Money British GT Championship.
Father and son duo of Richard and Sam Neary were Silver/Am winners and fifth overall in the two-hour endurance race on Sunday.
Saturday’s qualifying demonstrated how close racing will be in 2021. The Team Abba Racing Mercedes proved to be the fastest Mercedes in qualifying delivering a race start position on the third row of the grid in 6th with very little separating the top nine cars.
Sunday’s race started under the safety car following an incident in the formation lap. Richard Neary was keen to make an early move on fellow AM driver Adam Ballon and once passed he made a move on the Bentley Continental GT3 of Kelvin Fletcher at Paddock Hill to take fourth.
Team Abba Racing’s AMG GT3 Mercedes was in the thick of the action throughout the first hour of the race and although Richard Neary climbed from sixth to fourth a mistake left him back in sixth place before the pit window opened.
Sam then took up the mantle and it was particularly eye-catching in the second hour when he chased down Mercedes factory driver Yelmer Buurman. Despite being just 0.8 seconds behind Buurman, Sam finished in fifth place, but it was a very encouraging weekend for the pair.
Last year Sam 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/
Nineteen-year-old Sam has also 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 .