Richard Abra and Mark Poole will begin a second year in the Avon Tyres British GT Championship this season in their Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3, after announcing their entry in the 2014 series today. Following an educational half-year in the UK’s top GT series, Abra and Poole finished the season with a best result of fifth in the Silverstone three-hour event, the Aston duo are ready to challenge for outright victories and begin 2014 with a new-look team behind them.
After over 12 months under the guidance of top Aston Martin customer squad, Barwell Motorsport, Abra and Poole have created MP-AMR, featuring some of Prodrive’s most talented engineering brains. New team manager Dave Wilcox, who joins Aston’s GT3 project after over 12 months working on the successful Mini WRC campaign, heads up a team which Abra believes gives him and the rapidly improving Poole a strong chance of performing to their best ability in the 2014 championship.
“We’re not here to come second,” said a dogged Abra. “Last year was a learning year for us. I think we’re over that now. We had a lot of bad luck last year, but 2014 is a new challenge. I speak for both Mark and myself when I say we learnt an awful lot from Barwell last year. I can’t thank Mark (Lemmer) and the team enough for their assistance, they’re a very professional outfit, but a different opportunity came up from Prodrive that we simply couldn’t turn down.
“Last season Jonny Adam finished as the top pro, so he is obviously my benchmark this season. I’d like to beat him and get on the podium a few times, ideally taking a win too. This year we have the challenges of Silverstone and Spa, those are two weekends I’d like to take wins at. We’ve learnt lots about the Vantage on Avons and we know the car suits the majority of circuits we visit, we just need to push. There are no more excuses this year.”
Abra, 25, is confident of what 2014 could offer himself and Poole, taking confidence from his team-mates improved performances throughout 2013.
“There’s no doubt, Mark improved massively last year and by the end of the season had become one of the quicker ‘AMs’. His understanding of the Aston is right up there and you’d not think this is only his fourth season of racing. Another year in the same with largely the same circuits and his development and confidence will continue to grow further still. I’ve now got to prove myself to be one of the quickest pros.”
British GT now has 25 confirmed entries for the entire 2014 season, and further announcements will be made over the coming weeks.
Round one of the 2014 British GT series will get underway at Oulton Park in Cheshire over the Easter weekend (19-21 Apr)