Sam and Richard Neary claimed a maiden GT Cup Championship title victory for Team Abba Racing in the season finale at Snetterton last weekend (2nd/3rd October), beating away the threat of Topcats Racing after a fighting finish in Norfolk.
The much predicted rain made its presence felt just before the start of the afternoon Sprint Race on Saturday, after a dry qualifying session, dominated by Sam Neary.
At the start, Richard Neary battled from pole to keep in front of a storming Steve Burgess - the latter enjoying more grip in the faster corners to get a stronger exit onto the straights. Neary dropped back, eventually taking the flag in P5.
Weather remained an issue ahead of the second race of the weekend as drivers fought against the downpours once the 50-minute Endurance Race got underway.
Despite Richard Neary taking the lead following a decisive move out of Oggies heading into Williams Bend, the poor weather created a brace of safety car interruptions that halted the race early with 14 minutes on the clock. A short stop penalised the team and the final race outcome left more for Richard and Sam to do on the Sunday.
Brighter skies emerged for the final day of the season and Richard Neary was fastest out of the blocks to give the Mercedes the best chance of sealing the overall title. After 17 wins, the father and son pairing of Richard and Sam Neary ensured their title charge would be well on track with a lights-to-flag win by Sam in the sprint race.
Just needing to finish to confirm the title in the 50-minute Endurance Race, Richard Neary did what he needed to do by running up front and then third by the pit window opening, handed over to Sam to complete the task at hand and the Team’s maiden GT Cup title.
Commenting on the GT Cup Championship season, Sam Neary said: “It's been a tough year but a really good one at the same time. We hadn't won a race in the last six GT Cup races that we entered so it meant it really did go down to the wire in the end.
“I can't thank the team enough. We've worked back-to-back weekends to get the car out, we've re-shelled the car mid-season and despite all that, it's been a great year for us. Richard has been incredible this year; we've spent a lot of time in the data room trying to get faster and faster, and he's done a fine job with the pace he's shown."
In 2020 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 .