Few teams can match the breadth and depth of success enjoyed by ABG Motorsport across the past decade.
Since the team was founded by Peter Hignett at the Ashmoor Bridge Garage in Runcorn, it has achieved 10 championship titles and more than 90 race victories in series as diverse as Formula Ford 1600, Group N Saloons and British GT racing.
Peter remains at the helm as team manager, now partnered by Tim Blake as team principal. Tim joined the operation in 1997-8 as it launched Kurt Luby and Richard Dean’s British GT Championship-winning campaign. Tim has other business interests in the field of international logistics and the on-line motor sports information service TotalMotorSport.com, one of the UK’s top 50 web sites. Working alongside Peter and Tim is Stephen Harris, who as commercial director, co-ordinates the team’s non-racing interests such as sponsorship, marketing and track test days.
In spite of ABG Motorsport’s excellent pedigree, it is only now as the team makes its debut in the British Touring Car Championship that its name is to the fore. Hitherto, it has largely been the driving force behind the success of other team titles.
Its entry into the BTCC continues a long association with Kurt Luby, a driver it has successfully worked with in Formula Ford, Formula Vauxhall and Group N competition, before helping him and Richard Dean land the British GT Championship in the Oftedahl Motorsport Dodge Viper.
In the Porsche Super Cup the team dominated the 1992 series, with drivers Craig Simiss and David Warnock taking the championship and runners-up spot. Success followed with the BIM Halfords Ford Fiesta which carried John Bintcliffe to six victories and the championship title in the 1996 Ford Credit Fiesta Challenge, en route to a works Audi BTCC the following year. More success came with competition in Formula Renault and the Renault Spider UK Cup.
ABG Motorsport’s arrival in the BTCC in 2001 is the beginning of an ambitious programme, as Tim Blake explained: “Our aim is to win with this car for a long time to come and we are putting down the foundations for the Lexus to be the best car for the next three years.
” We think the FIA is likely to take the new British touring car regulations on board to build a world championship next year. Other manufacturers are anticipating this and we relish the idea of competing in a European and world series.”
The team chose its driver line-up as carefully as it selected the Lexus race car. “We needed two drivers capable of winning, who could develop the car and from whom we could get all the technical feedback we need. In choosing Kurt and Thomas we have not compromised those ideals, they are exceptionally experienced and talented drivers. Individually they are every bit as good as anyone else in the field and together they give us the best driver line-up there is,” said Tim.