Nearys and Abba take a chance on unchanged line-up

Nearys and Abba take a chance on unchanged line-up

Richard and Sam Neary will contest their third Intelligent Money British GT Championship season together with Team Abba Racing this year.

The fan favourites’ trusty Mercedes-AMG GT3 also retains its first-generation specification after the father/son duo claimed their breakthrough victory at Donington and impressed elsewhere throughout 2021.

That success and regular front running pace has also heightened expectations within the family-run team, which is now eyeing an overall title assault alongside its Silver-Am class ambitions.

Much has been made of Sam’s rapid rise from GT3 novice in 2020 to battling with established factory stars last season when the 19-year-old regularly held his own against some of the world’s best.

However, Neary Snr has also made significant progress since his British GT debut in 2016. Standout stints at Donington, where he went from last to first on the opening lap, and at Silverstone suggest he and Sam have the combined potential to become regular podium contenders this year.

“That’s certainly the aim,” confirmed Richard. “Last year I think our performances made a few people sit up and take notice of what a family team can achieve in British GT. We don’t have the time or budget to test as much as some of the other guys so it’s always really satisfying when we turn up on a race weekend and achieve good results.

“We had a few too many peaks and troughs last year, which we need to iron out. But if we can do that and grab a win or two along the way then we can certainly aim for a top-three championship finish. That would be an incredible achievement for a team like Abba given how strong we’re expecting British GT3 to be this year.”

His son is also eager to maintain the team’s momentum, which is now leading to opportunities elsewhere.

“Last year’s achievements opened a few doors for me outside of British GT,” revealed Sam. “That was always the hope – I’m young and naturally have ambitions to race elsewhere – so it’s nice that our performances haven’t gone unnoticed. I’ll be at the Dubai 24 Hours this weekend and had opportunities to do the Spa 24 Hours as well as Indy 8 Hours, amongst others, last season.

“Equally, I can’t afford to take my eye off the ball closer to home. British GT is a big deal for us and definitely my priority this year. We’re no longer the underdogs in some respects – 2021’s results marked us out as race winners and regular podium contenders, which is absolutely the level we should be targeting each and every weekend.”

Oulton Park hosts the opening round of this season’s Intelligent Money British GT Championship on April 16 & 18.