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Abba Racing Bounces Back To Win In Race Two

Race Two of the ‘Super Saturday’ second weekend of the 2021 GT Cup Championship saw victory go to the #88 Abba Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 of the father-and-son duo of Richard and Sam Neary, Neary Jr. finishing 29.347 seconds of Adam Balon in the #11 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan GT3.

Completing the top three was the #18 WPI Motorsport Lamborghini piloted by Michael Igoe and, driving the second stint, Lamborghini factory driver Phil Keen.

Class honours in the GTO class went to Richard Chamberlain in his #5 CTR Developments Porsche 935 who finished a lap ahead of the John Seale / Abbie Eaton-crewed #55 JMH Automotive Lamborghini.

Victory in the GTB class went to the #34 Team HARD Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup entry while the GTH category was won by the #1 Orange Racing powered by JMH McLaren 570S GT4 of Simon Orange and Josh Jackson.

Just prior to the grid assembling, the news of the disqualification from the meeting of the #63 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini driven by Leo Machitski that finished in fourth place in the first race was announced.

Pole sitter for Race Two was Adam Balon in the #11 Lamborghini who was joined on the front row by Richard Neary in the #88 Team Abba Racing Mercedes that had problems in the first half of Race One.

Balon led the field away from the grid and held a lead of just under half a second ahead of Richard Neary in the #88 Abba Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3, the leading pair having pulled out a gap of 2.3 seconds to the third placed #61 Scott Sport Lamborghini after two laps.

Photo: Ian Cutting Photography

Neary was putting Balon under pressure as the race entered its third lap while Matt Manderson in the #47 Ultimate Speed Aston Martin GT3 was just over a tenth of a second behind Stewart Proctor in the #36 Balfe Motorsport McLaren 720S GT3.

Neary took the lead on the fifth lap while Mat Manderson passed John Dhillon for third. Neary immediately started to build a gap to the #11 Lamborghini that, by the tenth lap, had increased to over 6.6 seconds.

Lucky Khera, recently announced as an entry into the 2021 Intelligent Money British GT Championship, passed John Dhillon for fourth.

With ten laps run, the #4 Nissan Nismo GTR with Grahame Tilley at the wheel had an off-track excursion at the exit of Druids and ended up in the barrier, bringing out the safety car with 32 minutes remaining to allow for safe recovery.

Racing resumed with just under 27 minutes left with the first pit window due to open shortly.

The GTO battle at that point could not have been closer with the class leader, the #55 JMH Automotive Lamborghini leading the #5 Porsche 935 and the #7 Radical RXC GT3.

Neary was the first to pit from the leaders, allowing Adam Balon to inherit the lead. After the driver changes had worked their way through across both groups, Sam Neary held the lead in the #88 Mercedes, quickly setting the fastest sector two lap of the race as the recent inductee to the BRDC Rising Star programme looked to consolidate the lead that his father had built earlier in the race.

Back in third, Phil Keen had taken over from Michael Igoe in the #18 Lamborghini and, as is typical for the factory driver, was setting about closing the not inconsiderable gap to Adam Balon.

Penalties for safety car infringements were announced for the #9 Topcats Racing Lamborghini, Phil Keen’s #18 entry which was running in third and the #33 G-Cat Racing Porsche.

At the chequered flag, Neary had extended his lead to nearly thirty seconds while Phil Keen had sufficient margin back to the Jones / Malvern Porsche to retain third place.

The  GT Cup Championship next visits Snetterton on June 5 – 6.