Autosport (UK)

Abba crew are the winners who take it (nearly) all

DONINGTON PARK MSVR 10-11 APRIL

- PETER SCHERER

The Team Abba Racing Mercedes-amg GT3 of Richard and Sam Neary proved almost unbeatable in the opening round of the GT Cup at Donington Park.

Father Richard got the crew’s weekend off to the perfect start as he was a lightsto-flag winner in the first sprint race. It was Richard Chamberlai­n’s Porsche 935 that led the initial chase, until Michael Igoe (Lamborghin­i Huracan) charged ahead on lap seven of 20. Grahame Tilley’s GT3 Nissan completed the podium.

The first enduro was soon under the safety car after Chamberlai­n spun at Redgate on the opening tour. Neary had the lead, but couldn’t hold off Igoe, who dived ahead into the Craner Curves on lap six, with Lucky Khera’s Lamborghin­i third.

They held station until the stops, before Phil Keen, in for Igoe, comfortabl­y took the spoils. Fellow British GT entrant Lewis Proctor climbed his Mclaren 720S GT3 – started by dad Stewart – to second, well clear of the nose-to-tail duel between Abbie Eaton in John Seale’s Lamborghin­i and Will Tregurtha in the Tilley Nissan.

It was a comfortabl­e win for Sam Neary in the second sprint, as Khera and Tilley disputed second after Igoe pitted at quarter-distance. Khera consolidat­ed second, while third-placed Tilley had Chamberlai­n and Seale closing in until the Porsche and Lambo clashed.

The Neary-versus-igoe battle was rekindled in the second enduro, with Tilley fending off John Dhillon’s Lamborghin­i for third. Igoe grabbed the lead from Neary Sr into the chicane just before the pitstop window, but after the stops it was Neary Jr all the way, with Keen second and Tregurtha reclaiming third from Phil Quaife in the Dhillon Huracan.

While Mark Mcaleer’s 997 proved unbeatable in the Porsche Club contests, it was far from settled behind. Peter Morris duelled with Chris Dyer for most of race one, joined in part by Simon Clark. Once Morris got away, he drasticall­y reduced Mcaleer’s winning margin to below half a second, with Dyer just holding third. Dyer was a comfortabl­e second in race two, with Morris losing third to Clark late on.

Tom Stoten was another double winner, taking two Sports 2000 victories in his Gunn. Neil Burroughs led the first race before slipping to fourth, while Michael Gibbins’s off from second on lap 10 of 19 allowed Dominic Lesniewski’s MCR to seal the runner-up spot. Burroughs reclaimed third at the chicane on the last lap from

Paul Trayhurn (Gunn). Stoten took charge of race two on the opening lap, with Burroughs seeing off Trayhurn for second from lap five to complete a Gunn podium lockout.

Clive Wood snatched a last-lap win from Steve Dickens at Redgate in the first of the Clubmans races, with Peter Richings third. Despite Wood’s efforts, Dickens held on to his race-long lead in race two, with Wood only 0.265 seconds down at the flag.

Clutch failure robbed Neil Harrison (Dallara) of victory in the first Monoposto

F3, 1400, Classic and 1800 race. Lee Fern then took charge, his Dallara’s winning margin boosted when Chris Davison spun out at Mcleans from second. Harrison got his reward with victory in race two. With Fern spinning at Mcleans, Robin Dawe was second again.

Dan Gore headed home a Jedi trio to win both Monoposto M1000, 2000 and 1600 races from Edward Falkingham and Robert Bailey.

 ??  ?? Harrison made up for clutch failure with race-two victory
Harrison made up for clutch failure with race-two victory
 ??  ?? Nearys’ Merc could often be found battling Keen/igoe Lamborghin­i
Nearys’ Merc could often be found battling Keen/igoe Lamborghin­i

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