2017 is shaping up to be a landmark season for double British GT champion Jonny Adam.
With confirmation that he will be joining fellow Aston Martin Racing factory driver Darren Turner to tackle all nine rounds of the FIA World Endurance Championship including the fabled Le Mans 24 Hours in a V8 Vantage GTE, in addition to defending his British GT crown, the smooth-driving Scotsman is preparing for an all-out assault on the highest levels of sportcar racing.
With another top-flight campaign set to be confirmed that will take his calendar to 21 race weekends, we asked him 10 questions on how he’s approaching one of the biggest seasons of his career:
You’ve been an active factory driver with Aston Martin for a couple of years now, but what does it mean to you to have a full WEC campaign and Le Mans entry confirmed pre-season?
It’s shaping up to be an incredible season. To be given this opportunity to compete full-time with the factory Aston Martin Racing squad at World Championship level is something I have been working towards for the last three years. Darren is the perfect teammate too, he’s got lots of experience, is extremely fast and a fantastic ambassador on and off the track for Aston Martin. We have raced together a number of times over the past few years and our driving styles are complementary so we have all the ingredients to go really well this seaon.
What are you most looking forward to about the 2017 season?
The level of competition in the World Endurance Championship is extremely tough and as a driver it’s a massive high competing in it, but Le Mans 24 Hours was very special last year as it was my first attempt and the goal this year is to go for a podium in GTE Pro.
What are your personal goals for the year ahead?
My goal is to challenge with Darren for the world drivers championship in GTE Pro, but also help Aston Martin Racing secure the manufacturers championship which is very important to everyone in the team.
How has your pre-season preparation gone?
Really well. I’ve been training every day and feel ready for the long season of racing ahead. This is the key time to get everything right before the season really gets going, it looks like a busy one with 21 race weekends but I’ve done 26 before in 2015 so I know I’ve got the stamina for it.
Will competing in a full WEC campaign affect your chances of winning the British GT title for a record third time?
Competing in WEC won’t impact BGT this year as there is no date clashes. That’s a first so it’s a huge boost for me to be able to challenge for wins in both championships. My teammates and equipment in both are the very best so hopefully we’ll be fighting from round one for great results.
Can AMR win the WEC title this season?
Yes. As the ‘Dane Train’ of Nicki and Marco showed last year the car and team have the potential to win races and challenge for a world title. We have been working hard off season with all our partners to give us that edge we need to challenge for honours. Our home event at Silverstone is the perfect way to kick-start our championship assault racing for Aston Martin in front of our UK fans. It can’t come quick enough for me.
Are there any rules or regulation changes you think will have a big impact this season?
The way tyre allocation works has changed, so now we only have four sets of tyres over a race weekend. That means tyre management and driving styles will be a crucial element this year, how you use the tyre in the first stint will determine your pace in the second stint. It will make it an interesting challenge.
Who are you most looking forward to driving against this year?
The driver line-ups of all GTE Pro teams look very strong, but we’re 100% ready to take the fight to Ford, Ferrari and Porsche this year. Bring it on!
Last year you were lucky enough to drive the Aston Martin Vulcan on track, will you get a chance to sample any other special Aston road cars this year?
The Vulcan was an awesome experience. It’s an incredible piece of kit that blew me away with its performance, and I’ve been lucky to drive some amazing race cars over the past few years. The DB11 looks amazing and the reviews and sales have been very positive so hopefully they will let me loose in one between races at some point.
Rumour has it you have big plans off the track this year too, with such a busy racing schedule will you manage to fit everything in?
Having got engaged over the Christmas holidays it’s given me and my fiancé a bit of challenge to figure out a suitable date with such a busy year ahead, but she is a great organiser so sure she’ll find a way!