Following the final round of the World Endurance Championship in Bahrain you’d think that Jonny Adam would be winding down after a long 2017 season in which raced in British GT, claimed the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup Pro-Am drivers’ title and a class win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
However Jonny and the rest of the Aston Martin Racing squad flew straight from the Sakhir circuit to London for the twin launch of the stunning new Vantage road car and their 2018 WEC challenger – the Vantage GTE.
So what is keeping him motivated during what looks to be a very short close season ahead of the expanded 2018/19 ‘super-season’?
“It’s an incredibly exciting time to be part of Aston Martin Racing with the launch of our new Vantage GTE contender alongside the new Aston Martin Vantage road car.
“For the last few months we have been putting the miles on the new car across development testing in Europe and America, and not only is the reliability very impressive the car is performing well.
“The design team and engineers at AMR have looked into every detail from aerodynamics, engine performance to driveability, and have produced something quite special once you experience it on the track. The car is one of the best looking GT cars around and the worldwide reaction has been very positive.
“The outgoing Vantage was successful throughout its history in the Pro class, and now hopefully this new Vantage GTE will provide us the chance to challenge for more victories at Le Mans 24 Hour and fight for a World Championship.”
Now that it’s all done and dusted how would you sum up the 2017 season from a personal point of view?
“It’s been very successful with a Le Mans 24 Hours win, finishing second at Spa 24 Hours and winning the Blancpain Endurance Series. All the championships have been hard fought, but for Aston Martin Racing in customer racing claiming the Blancpain Series Championship with TF Sport and Ahmad Al Harthy is one of the biggest GT3 victories since the car was introduced in 2012 so that has been important. It’s been great working with again Oman Racing and seeing Ahmad in his 10th year of car racing win a big championship like this.”
What was your best moment behind the wheel?
“Has to be the final stint at Le Mans 24 Hours! It meant so much from a personal point of view to achieve that career goal, but for everyone at Aston Martin and Aston Martin Racing it was the big win we’ve been chasing for. It’s one of the biggest race events in the world and the way we claimed that win on the final lap of a 24 hour race will probably go down in history as the closest ever finish. A very proud moment.”
What was your favourite memory away from the track?
“It was the reaction from everyone within Aston Martin and Aston Martin Racing after winning Le Mans 24 Hours. You could see and feel how much it meant to each and everyone member of the team and our partners. We put so much into it from car, pit stops, management, strategy etc and to achieve what we set it to do as a team which was to win the Pro class at Le Mans was emotional and rewarding, but very cool.”
How is the 2018 season shaping up for you? Do you know what your schedule looks like yet?
“The 2018 season looks like it’s going to be busy with further announcements due soon. We’ve been doing a lot of development testing with the new car behind the scenes throughout 2017 and that will continue ahead of the World Endurance Championship ‘super season’. This is an important programme within WEC as now the championship has two editions of Le Mans 24 Hours, so we are preparing as best we can to deliver major results for this stunning-looking new Vantage GTE.”
How closely were you involved in the development of the new Vantage GTE?
“All the factory drivers have been involved through the testing of the new car, which is great as we all have different ideas and opinions on improvements which is important at this stage of development with a new GT car. Myself and Darren Turner were the lucky ones to drive the new Aston Martin Vantage GTE earlier in its running and already it’s a step up in driveability and performance in all areas which is very promising. So far the car has run well in endurance testing, with 13,000km completed and a 30 hour test already achieved. The engineers seem happy at the moment, we still have areas to improve before our first race but so far very encouraging.”
Will you get a break before the 2018 season starts? If so how do you plan to chill out?
“I’ll spend some time at Christmas back in Scotland with family and friends which will be nice, but then it’s training hard in preparation for the season ahead and we will continue development testing with our new car after the New Year. So not too long to wait until I get back behind the wheel which is great.”
What is your New Year resolution going to be?
“Taking up DIY! We’ve just moved house so my fiancée’s to do list isn’t getting any smaller…”