With ‘Super Season’ fixtures coming thick and fast in 2018, Jonny Adam is gearing up to switch from one legendary race to another in quick succession.
Last weekend he helped deliver a strong debut for the new Aston Martin Vantage GTE in the World Endurance Championship opener at Spa Francorchamps.
Alongside team-mates Maxime Martin and Alex Lynn the flying Fifer guided the #97 car to finish sixth from 10 in the ultra-competitive GTE Pro class ahead of its sister #95 machine.
Adam suggested the most significant lesson the crew took from the car’s debut race was how well-balanced its performance is at high speeds. He cited the higher downforce it produces compared to its predecessor, ensuring it feels well-sorted in even the fastest sections on circuit.
“It was a solid debut for the all-new Aston Martin Vantage GTE at Spa. The car ran beautifully all weekend, and pit-stops and team strategy were all well executed. That’s testament to how hard everyone at Aston Martin Racing has been working since August last year. The next race in the WEC calendar is Le Mans 24 Hours, and we can’t wait for June to come around already.”
Ahead of LM24 the team will analyse the data from Spa to understand how the car can be optimised for the biggest race of the season, which will be another significant baptism for the new machine.
Before then Jonny will tackle another legendary 24 hour race.
The Nürburgring 24 Hours is a notoriously gruelling challenge for drivers, with high rates of attrition as over 150 cars lap the famous ‘Green Hell’ at the same time.
For the 2018 edition Jonny will pilot an Aston Martin Vantage GT4 alongside fellow factory racer Alex Lynn, ‘Ring specialist Peter Cate and 2015 British GT GT4 champion Jamie Chadwick.
The quick quartet will be seeking to give the car a successful swansong before it is replaced by a new generation machine for the 2019 season.
It will be Jonny’s third attempt to conquer the Nürburgring 24 Hours, having raced both GT4 and GT3 Aston Martin machinery there previously.
“We have a car that is reliable and easy to drive over long distances, which is absolutely vital in this event.
“Compared to driving a GT3 there the speed through the corners will be slower, but the straight-line speed will still be higher than many of the other classes on track so we’ll still need to manage traffic well. It’s also forecast to rain at night during the race, and that will make it an even bigger challenge.”
Jonny explained that while both were 24 hour races, the Nürburgring and Le Mans events required quite different driving approaches.
“In many ways a single lap at Nürburgring is much more demanding due to the concentration required to tackle over 100 corners, plus the sheer volume of traffic and the inevitably unpredictable weather.
“They are both special in their own way though and very important to Aston Martin as a manufacturer, so our job is to try and have a clean race, get to the finish and secure a strong result come Sunday afternoon.”