When the 2020 Intelligent Money British GT Championship roars into action at Oulton Park in April there will be one driver who has never taken his foot off the pedal when it comes to preparing for the challenge.
Four-time champion Jonny Adam will join the grid for his ninth season in British GT – and is more determined than ever to continue his record-breaking run in the series.
Given that the factory Aston Martin star is returning to compete in the same Vantage GT3 with the TF Sport team he won the title with last year, and alongside a team-mate he’s already driven to success with in the shape of Ahmad Al Harthy, he believes all the elements are in place for another superlative season…
How excited are you about the 2020 British GT campaign now you’ve ‘got the band back together’ with Ahmad and TF Sport all in the same squad again?
“It really is a dream scenario. Last time I raced with Ahmad in 2017 we won the Pro AM Blancpain Endurance title with TF Sport. He’s one of the fastest and most experienced gentlemen drivers out there, a really nice guy, and I can’t wait to get racing with him again with the superb squad at TF Sport. It’s great also to race under the Oman Racing banner again too. We did some really cool promotional work with the brand in the past, I’m sure we’ll do some of that again this year.”
You won yet another title and broke multiple records in British GT last year, what are your targets this time around?
“It was a bit of a rollercoaster, but I’d take the same again! Title number five with a fifth different teammate is absolutely the goal. I think consistently scoring points is going to be more important than ever as the grid looks the biggest it been for a good few seasons. We’ll push from the off and see how the championship unfolds, but as last season showed once again as long as you are in the mix heading into the final round anything can happen.”
You’re fresh from winning a World Endurance Championship race with TF Sport at Circuit of the Americas so you’re obviously still in the groove from a driving point of view, will that help you hit the ground running for British GT?
“Massively. I haven’t had an off-season as such but I feel like that keeps me sharp and the team are the same as they’ve all been working right through and been on top form. Sustained success gives you a sense of momentum, and I just don’t get tired of winning races. The victory in Austin was a must for our world championship title hopes, and we are now right back in contention with a good feeling now heading towards Sebring in a few weeks.”
Did you get any time off since British GT ended last year, or have other commitments meant you didn’t really have a break at all?
“I finally got my honeymoon in just before Bahrain WEC in December which was brilliant, and then spent some nice time over Christmas and New Year with family in Scotland. But it was straight back into training hard in thy gym and on a simulator come early January. I love my job though so it’s no hardship!”
What’s the most interesting thing you’ve done away from racing during the close season?
“This is going to make me sound a bit obsessive as it is still to do with racing, but I actually invested in building a simulator at home to allow me to put in extra hours practising. It’s all about details and what you personally put into preparation. I always want to up my level to get faster every year, and 2020 is an important year for me in British GT, WEC and Le Mans 24 Hours so I’m leaving nothing to chance.”
So aside from even more hours in the simulator, what will your preparations look like for British GT this season? Will you do anything different from previous years?
“We have gone right through all the details of set-up from an engineering point of view and I think we’ll take a big step forward from 2019 with the Vantage. This year in British GT there is also a new specification Pirelli tyre which is slightly different, so testing is going to be really important in terms of getting our heads around extracting maximum performance from it.”
Having seen how the grid is shaping up, what do you think the competition is going to be like in BGT this year?
“It’s looking like there will potentially be 18 or 20 GT3 cars competing, which is amazing growth for the series. That’s great for the fans and good from a driver’s perspective too as it means you really have to be on top of your game. Balance of Performance rules will ensure all the cars are evenly-matched so it’s the time and preparation that Ahmad and I put in alongside the team that will give us an edge and hopefully a shot at more success.”
How has BGT changed since the season you started in 2011 until now?
“The competition has gone up in terms of numbers on the grid but also the level of the gentleman or bronze graded drivers is now seriously impressive. I genuinely think it’s one of the hardest Pro Am championships to win. Often now Am drivers are within a second of Pros on a full GP circuit lap, whereas eight or nine years ago they were around two seconds off a good bronze driver.”
If you had to sum up how you feel about the 2020 British GT season in just five words what would they be?
“Prepared, excited, fast, Aston Martin!”
Speaking of which, have you had the opportunity to drive any interesting Aston Martin road cars recently?
“Knockhill Racing Circuit took delivery of a new Aston Martin Vantage and I managed to squeeze in a few laps with it in February in the rain and it felt so good. Customers there will love it.
“I’ve also seen the new Aston Martin DBX up close, which is a stunning-looking piece of kit, but not actually had a chance to drive one yet so can’t wait to have a go in one and see what it can do. Just need to find the time!”
Any other plans for the 2020 season that you can confirm (or even hint at) just now?
“Nothing I can reveal at the moment, watch this space. I’m already very lucky having such a strong programme in place with WEC, British GT and Le Mans 24 Hours, but there a few interesting options to look at and personally I’d love to do Spa 24 Hours again as that’s a great event. I’m focussed on doing everything I can to have the most successful year of my career to date.”
If you would like to team up with Jonny Adam and enjoy the benefits of branding and hospitality with Aston Martin Racing in British GT or at the 24 Hours of Le Mans please contact Jonny direct at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.