Hunter Abbott

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Hunter Abbott
Nationality British
Born (1980-12-04) 4 December 1980 (age 36)
England
Blancpain Series Asia & VLN career
Debut season 2017
Current team GruppeM Mercedes & Walkenhorst Motorsport
Car no. 999
Starts 12
Wins 3
Poles 0
Fastest laps 0
Best finish 1st in 2017
Previous series
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009

2010-11
2012
2013
2014-15
2016
Radical SR3 Championship
SCSA
British GT Championship (GTC)
SCSA
British GT Championship (GT4)
British GT Championship (GT4) & GT4 European Series
Did not race
Ginetta GT Supercup
Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Benelux
British Touring Car Championship
British Touring Car Championship, 24H Series (GT4) & British GT Championship (GT3)
Championship titles
1995
2005
2017
HKC Junior TKM Champion
SCSA Rookie Champion
Blancpain GT Series Asia Pro-AM & Overall GT3 Champion
Awards
2005
2005
Roush Driver of the Year
Autosport One to Watch

Hunter Abbott is a British business man and racing driver (born in Liverpool, 4 December 1980). He is managing director of AlcoSense Laboratories which manufactures alcohol breathalysers[1] and reigning 2017 Blancpain GT Series Asia Champion[2] for GruppeM Mercedes-AMG Racing and also races in VLN for Walkenhorst Motorsport.

Racing career[edit]

Early years[edit]

Abbott began his racing career in 1995, in karting, winning the HKC Junior TKM Championship during his first year racing, he moved to Senior TKM competing in the 1996 Super 1 National Kart Championships finishing 15th overall on his debut year. For 1998 Abbott moved to Formula 100C Super 1 National Kart Championships where he finished the season 4th overall and ran as high as 2nd in the European Intercontinental A Championships. In 1999 Abbott moved to Formula A and competed in the Super 1 National Kart Championships.

Abbott did not race between 2000 to March 2003 due to lack of funding; in 2003, Abbott competed in a handful of Radical Enduro championship races driving a Radical Prosport and had several podium finishes.

For 2004, Abbott raced in the Radical Enduro championship with Martin Donnelly Racing partnering Nigel Redwood, he missed the first two rounds of the championship but took eight victories and 11 pole positions in the remainder of the season, the most races any driver has ever won in one season of Radical Enduro.[3]

Oval Racing[edit]

In 2005, Abbott moved into the UK Oval Racing, joining the SCSA racing series in the RyanAir sponsored car run by Torquespeed Racing. SCSA was a UK based championship, similar to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series which raced on the Rockingham Motor Speedway oval circuit, he had a successful debut season, winning the Rookie Championship. This led to him being awarded 'One to Watch' by Autosport Magazine and "Driver of the Year" by NASCAR team Roush Racing.

Abbott didn't compete in the 2006 season, instead competing in British GT, but returned in 2007 and finished runner up to series champion Colin White.

24 Hour Racing[edit]

After a last minute call up from CWS Racing, Abbott competed in the 2016 Dubai 24 Hour, finishing 2nd in the SP3 class[4] driving a Ginetta G55 GT4, the team had led the race until three hours from the end when a belt failure forced the car into the pits for an additional pit-stop.

GT racing[edit]

Abbott driving for Rob Austin Racing at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in the 2009 British GT season.

2006 saw a move into GT racing for Abbott. He entered the 2006 British GT season, driving in the GTC class with a Porsche 996 GT3 racing for RPM Motorsport, the highlight of the year was finishing 2nd in the Pau Grand Prix. After the Snetterton round of the championship Hunter left RPM and joined Paul Mace's Specialist Direct team also driving a Porsche 996 GT3.

After a brief hiatus in 2007, when he returned to Oval racing, he once again joined the British GT grid, beginning a long racing partnership with Rob Austin Racing. Partnering Rob Austin in the teams Ginetta G50, the pair managed to finish second in the GT4 class of the 2008 season, taking three class wins. At the Oulton Park round of the championship, Abbott had a spectacular 100mph crash in his Ginetta, flipping several time before coming to rest on its roof where it burst into flames. Abbott was trapped in the car for 18 seconds while on fire,[5] the driver's door was jammed shut and he escaped from the car by crawling through the roll cage and out of the passenger side of the car.[6] Quick thinking by Abbott and efficient work by the race marshals meant that he escaped with only minor burns and injuries,[7] after 2 weeks Abbott returned to the series and took a double victory at Knockhill.

The partnership with Rob Austin Racing continued into 2009. Abbott contested the first half of the 2009 season, with Abbott taking 4 class wins and several podium finishes along with new partner Gary Simms before stopping before the Knockhill event. Abbott had a one-off outing after a late call from Stark Racing for the Snetterton round of the championship where he scored two-second places in the GT4 class, he finished 4th in the GT4 championship after missing the second half of the season. However, Abbott, with Rob Austin Racing and driver partner Henry Fletcher contested a full season in the GT4 European Series. Abbott and Fletcher finish sixth in the 2009 championship, with three third-place finishes. Abbott continued into the 2010 GT4 European Cup, entering the first three rounds and scoring one 2nd place and finishing fifth in the overall drivers standings.

In 2016 Abbott made a one-off appearance in the Spa-Francorchamps round of the British GT Championship, he drove for Grasser Racing driving a Lamborghini Huracan GT3 car, qualifying 2nd and leading the race until retirement due to technical reasons on the final lap.

For 2017 Abbott returned to GT racing in three series, he won the overall GT3 title and Pro-AM GT3 title in the Blancpain GT Series Asia driving for GruppeM Racing sponsored by Pagani Cars China and GruppeM in a Mercedes-AMG GT GT3. He also raced in selected VLN races in a BMW 235 Cup Car for Walkenhorst Motorsport taking a best place of 3rd. Abbott drove for HTP Motorsport at the 2017 Silverstone round of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup, standing in for injured Michael Avenatti, finishing 4th in class and at the Barcelona event of the same championship for Barwell Motorsport driving a Lamborghini Huracan GT3 where he won his class.

One-Make Racing[edit]

In 2008, Abbott made a one-off appearance in the Ginetta G50 Cup at the Brands Hatch GP after one of the Rob Austin Racing drivers was delayed after returning from a US trip. Having never driven the car before, Abbott went straight into qualifying and claimed two pole positions for race 1 and race 2. Abbott did not finish race 1 after contact with Tom Dunstone but won race 2 from Frank Wrathall and Christian Dick.

Abbott entered the 2012 Ginetta GT Supercup, driving a Ginetta G55 for Century Motorsport sponsored by Armour Electronics and Outback BBQs. Abbott finished sixth overall, with two 3rd places his best results.

For 2013, he moved back into Europe, entering the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Benelux, driving a Porsche 997 GT3 Cup Gen 2 sponsored by Petronas Oil, Armour Electronics and Outback's BBQs. He finished the season in second place behind former Midland F1 test driver Jeffrey van Hooydonk and ahead of factory Audi driver Christiaan Frankenhout.

Touring Car Racing[edit]

Abbott announced that he was making the switch to touring car racing, entering the British Touring Car Championship with his previous GT team Rob Austin Racing. He entered the 2014 British Touring Car Championship season with Rob Austin Racing, driving a NGTC Audi A4.[8] Abbott scored points on his debut, securing a single point by finishing 15th during race 3 at Brands Hatch, he featured in the top 10 at several races and was top Rookie[9] in the Jack Sears Trophy with 96 overtakes, awarded to the driver who overtook the most cars during the season.

In 2015, Abbott stayed with Rob Austin Racing[10] in the British Touring Car Championship under the Exocet Racing banner with title sponsorship from Exocet Fuel Additives. Abbott again featured in the top 10 in many races but after missing the Knockhill round of the championship to be there for the birth of his son, Hunter fininshed the year 21st in the Drivers Championship.

For 2016, Abbott switched to the front wheel drive Chevrolet Cruze of Power Maxed Racing in the British Touring Car Championship with title sponsorship from Power Maxed, a company making car polishes and accessories. Despite top 5 qualifying results and a fastest lap at Snetterton[11], Abbott's best result was 10th at Silverstone, Abbott finished 19th overall in the championship standings.

Famous crashes[edit]

On Saturday 22 March 2008, Abbott had a spectacular 100+mph crash in the Rob Austin Racing Ginetta G50 in the opening round of the 2008 British GT Championship at Oulton Park. After being tagged by Peter Snowdon's Aston Martin Abbott struck the barriers on the outside of the circuit between Old Hall and Cascades corners at unabated speed, the car flipped several times end over end, clearing the safety barriers, before coming to rest upside down where it burst into flames. The fire was caused by the roof skin being ripped off in the force of the accident, in the process this also ripped off the fuel filler pipes from the fuel tank, as it was near the beginning of the race the fuel tank was near full, when the car came to rest upside down the fuel load leaked quickly into the car.

Abbott was trapped in the car for 18 seconds while on fire,[5] the driver's door was jammed shut and he escaped from the car by crawling through the roll cage and out of the passenger side of the car.[6] Quick thinking by Abbott and efficient work by the race marshals meant that he escaped with only minor burns and injuries,[7] after 2 weeks, Abbott returned to the series and took a double victory at Knockhill.

There was significant mainstream media coverage of the crash through newspapers and magazines and can be viewed on YouTube.

On Sunday 31 July 2016, Abbott was involved in a crash while racing for Power Maxed Racing in the Snetterton round of the British Touring Car Championship. A multi-car start-line crash occurred, triggered by contact between Team BKR-run Volkswagen CC driven by Mark Howard and Team Parker Racing Ford Focus of Alex Martin. Abbott was clipped by Mark Howard's spinning car and rolled several times, knocking over a TV tower and coming to rest on top of the barriers. Abbott suffered concussion and no one else was injured. Mark Howard and Alex Martin were penalised for causing the multi-car crash[12].

Racing record[edit]

Complete British GT Championship results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position in class) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap in class)

Year Team Car Class 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 DC Points
2006 RPM Porsche 911 GT3 GTC OUL
1

12
OUL
2

Ret
DON
1

15
PAU
1

7
PAU
2

7
MON
1

Ret
MON
2

Ret
SNE
1

Ret
SNE
2

12
ROC
1
ROC
2
13th 30
Specialist Direct BRH
1

16
BRH
2

7
SIL
1

18
MAG
1
MAG
2
2008 Rob Austin Racing Ginetta G50 GT4 OUL
1

DNS
OUL
2

DNS
KNO
1

9
KNO
2

Ret
ROC
1

14
ROC
2

10
SNE
1

16
SNE
2

15
THR
1

14
THR
2

DSQ
BRH
1

12
BRH
2

11
SIL
1

7
DON
1

11
2nd 80
2009 Rob Austin Racing Ginetta G50 GT4 OUL
1

DSQ
OUL
2

11
SPA
1

9
SPA
2

10
ROC
1

Ret
ROC
2

10
KNO
1
KNO
2
4th 28
Stark Racing SNE
1

7
SNE
2

11
DON
1
SIL
1
BRH
1
BRH
2
2016 GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracán GT3 GT3 BRH
1
ROC
1
OUL
1
OUL
2
SIL
1
SPA
1

5
SNE
1
SNE
2
DON
1
17th 15

Complete British Touring Car Championship results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position – 1 point awarded in first race) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap – 1 point awarded all races) (* signifies that driver lead race for at least one lap – 1 point awarded all races)

Year Team Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 DC Points
2014 AlcoSense Breathalysers Racing Audi A4 BRH
1

18
BRH
2

18
BRH
3

15
DON
1

Ret
DON
2

Ret
DON
3

24
THR
1

24
THR
2

Ret
THR
3

16
OUL
1

24
OUL
2

16
OUL
3

Ret
CRO
1

10
CRO
2

Ret
CRO
3

11
SNE
1

20
SNE
2

24
SNE
3

20
KNO
1

25
KNO
2

16
KNO
3

16
ROC
1

14
ROC
2

10
ROC
3

Ret
SIL
1

Ret
SIL
2

23
SIL
3

23
BRH
1

Ret
BRH
2

DNS
BRH
3

NC
20th 20
2015 Exocet AlcoSense Racing Audi A4 BRH
1

18
BRH
2

11
BRH
3

10
DON
1

19
DON
2

17
DON
3

14
THR
1

16
THR
2

14
THR
3

21
OUL
1

18
OUL
2

23
OUL
3

16
CRO
1

16
CRO
2

12
CRO
3

16
SNE
1

18
SNE
2

12
SNE
3

17
KNO
1

DNS
KNO
2

DNS
KNO
3

DNS
ROC
1

23
ROC
2

23
ROC
3

Ret
SIL
1

24
SIL
2

26
SIL
3

Ret
BRH
1

16
BRH
2

21
BRH
3

17
21st 23
2016 Power Maxed Racing Chevrolet Cruze BRH
1

Ret
BRH
2

15
BRH
3

13
DON
1

15
DON
2

14
DON
3

12
THR
1

15
THR
2

Ret
THR
3

Ret
OUL
1

11
OUL
2

11
OUL
3

19
CRO
1

Ret
CRO
2

19
CRO
3

Ret
SNE
1

15
SNE
2

Ret
SNE
3

Ret
KNO
1

20
KNO
2

22
KNO
3

Ret
ROC
1

26
ROC
2

NC
ROC
3

14
SIL
1

13
SIL
2

10
SIL
3

13
BRH
1

Ret
BRH
2

17
BRH
3

Ret
19th 38


References[edit]

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Inaugural
Blancpain GT Series Asia
Champion

2017
Succeeded by
Incumbent