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Abba and Tim Gray Motorsport share the spoils in Oulton Park thriller
Jun 29 2024

Abba and Tim Gray Motorsport share the spoils in Oulton Park thriller

Team Abba Racing took its sixth win in a row before Steve Burgess put in a stunning performance in the Tim Gray Motorsport Radical RXC as the GT Cup Championship rolled into Oulton Park for a pair of 40-minute races.

The weekend started with drama for Richard Neary & Ian Loggie, as the team stayed up until 2am to replace the engine on their Mercedes-AM GT3 after a fault was identified during Friday testing.

When the car got on track, the former set the timing screens alight in mixed conditions during qualifying and then stormed to victory alongside Loggie in the first race of the day.

However, in the second race, Steve Burgess made the most of a lack of pitstop success penalties to leap ahead of Neary and put on a defensive masterclass to avenge a mechanical DNF earlier in the day with their first win of the season.

In GTC, wins went the way of Topcats Racing's Fraser Fenwick and Warren Gilbert, with the latter's wife Charlotte combining with Tom Rawlings to take a pair of second places that vaulted them to the lead of the overall championship.

GTH went to Michael Orant and series debutant Thomas Holland in their Paddock Motorsport McLaren Artura. 



Early morning rain showers meant the first competitive action of GT Cup's annual trip to the North West started with a case of who could build up the confidence fastest on a circuit that was drying at different rates, as the wet Pirelli tyres started to carve out something of a dry line. 

Not that Richard Neary needed much time to figure out the conditions. The Team Abba Racing driver is a dab hand in extracting as much time as possible in the Mercedes-AMG GT3 and it wasn't long before he shot to the top of the timing sheets.

Claiming overall and GTO pole, the green machine didn't have it all its own way as Steve Burgess - returning in the Tim Gray Motorsport Radical RXC - ran Abba close and joined them on the front row. 

GTC was another display of Tom Rawlings' comfort behind the wheel of the #2 Topcats Racing Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo as he took the pole ahead of Fraser Fenwick in the sister car, with returnee Miles Rudman third in his Team Parker Porsche. 

Paddock Motorsport took the honours in GTH. 


Race One

The first 40-minute race of the day was held in dry conditions but didn't alter Neary's approach to the start of the race as he showed the field a clean pair of heels going into Old Hall Corner and powered away to take his eighth overall win of the season alongside Ian Loggie. 

While their run to the flag - and GTO honours - was a calm affair, the drama was unfolding behind in GTC. Charlotte Gilbert maintained her advantageous starting position as she fended off a hard-charging Fraser Fenwick in the sister Topcats Super Trofeo, to hold the group lead on the first lap but Fenwick wasn’t to be denied an opportunity to pass and found an opportunity just a couple of laps later to move himself into the top spot. 

An off during Gilbert’s stint lost her and Tom Rawlings a chunk of time which, once he got into the car, Rawlings decided to get back as quickly as possible. Kicking up dust and attacking the kerbs, he had Miles Rudman firmly in his sights and despite a gallant effort defending his position in the Team Parker 911, Rudman was relegated to third in the closing minutes. 

Rawlings didn’t have time to close the gap to the car ahead, giving Fenwick and Warren Gilbert a well-earned victory. 

In GTH, Paddock Motorsport took victory - a maiden win in the championship for Thomas Holland, and the first of the season for the team - via an entertaining battle with Chris Murphy’s GTC BMW in the first half of the race.


Race Two

Compared to the first race, it didn't go to plan for Team Abba Racing as they were denied a seventh overall win in a row by an inspired display of driving, and defending, by Steve Burgess. 

In recovery mode after suspension damage forced him to retire from lunchtime's opening race, Burgess started his Radical RXC from the back of the grid and by the time the first lap of the race was in the books he had moved up to second, with just a quick starting Ian Loggie ahead of him.

Try as he might, the Mercedes remained out of reach until the pit window when success seconds shook up the order and allowed the Tim Gray Motorsport driver to leap ahead. 

With a slender lead, which Neary quickly ate into, it became imperative that the Radical use its grunt out the corners to remain ahead. It looked like he had given up the chance of a win after going deep into Shell Oils Corner, but he put the hammer down and kept ahead through the Brittens chicane.

Come the final lap, Burgess had seven-tenths in hand and kept them all as he crossed the line to take his first finish - and win - of 2024. 

In GTC, it was another win for Warren Gilbert and Fraser Fenwick. The #3 Topcats crew started second, behind Charlotte Gilbert & Tom Rawlings, but through the pit window cycle, Fenwick managed to come out ahead to take his second win of the day alongside Warren as well as third overall.

Michael Orant and Thomas Holland claimed GTH honours in the Paddock Motorsport McLaren Artura. 


#2 Tom Rawlings 

“It was alright, I tried to get the overtake done [on Miles Rudman] as soon as I could - which I think I did. Other than that, it was a shame with the spin for Charlotte but other than that we're leading the championship overall now so I'm happy with that. I'd have liked mixed conditions because that really brings the talent out!"


#99 Steve Burgess

“In the last few laps, Richard was gaining on me at a rapid rate of knots so I just had to park it on the apex and use the power of the car to keep him behind me. The Merc is a lot quicker through the tighter stuff so I had to use the strength of the car - which is its straight-line speed and through the high-speed corners - and make no mistakes to keep him behind me."


#11 Thomas Holland

“Both the team and Mike [Orant] have been absolutely flawless throughout the weekend. I've been trying to keep up with them because I'm learning a new car, Mike's learning a new track. Paddock has been very understanding and appreciative, Mike's got absolutely buckets of pace, he's a really quick driver and he keeps learning every time he gets behind the wheel as well. He's just building up on that confidence which is really great to see."


#6 Richard Neary

“The start of the weekend wasn't really what we wanted. We ended up doing an engine change, I was up until 2.30 this morning so I'm feeling a bit knackered but car ran really well after that and I managed to get on the pace really quickly with the rain this morning in the qual. For the car to run faultlessly after such an extensive job was great. The car's just generate the lap times so differently, Steve [Burgess]'s car is faster in the straight line so I need to carry pace through the corners. It's quite easy for him to defend my car because if he parks it on the corners, on a narrow track like here, I'm done. On a wider track then I'm okay, but here it's easy to defend. 


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