Three races, two pole positions, two back-to-back race wins, and leading the GTE-Am points table. Not a bad start to the World Endurance Championship by anyone’s standards.
However, despite claiming victories for TF Sport alongside team-mates Salih Yoluc and Charlie Eastwood at Fuji and most recently Shanghai over the past month, factory Aston Martin Racing star Jonny Adam is not content by a long shot – and is already focussing on new targets for the rest of the season.
Find out what he thinks have been the secrets to their WEC success so far, what he is aiming for in 2019, and what he’s asking Santa for as a stocking filler this Christmas…
Three races into the WEC season you’ve won two, you must be happy with the start to the championship?
“It’s been great, and in truth better than we expected given that it’s a brand new car the team is running for the first time. We’ve managed to get it dialled in very quickly to the optimum operating window for the new Michelin tyre, which has really helped us unlock some performance. The whole package of team and drivers has just clicked and is working well together, and now we’re leading a world championship so that’s even more motivation to keep it going.”
Your record in Fuji is very good, what’s the secret to your success there?
“I just really love the circuit itself abut also the atmosphere the fans in Japan create, so I always go into it really fired up. Salih really impressed in the race there this year and we took maximum points with both pole and the race win, the first in the WEC for TF Sport, so it was a special one.”
What’s your impression of Shanghai as a city and a circuit?
“Shanghai has been on the WEC calendar since 2012 I think, and I’ve raced there now on four occasions. It’s a very technical circuit and probably has the highest tyre degradation of anywhere we race at during the season, the difference can be as much as three seconds per lap depending on type of tyres chosen, car setup and the weather. So managing outright lap pace versus overall consistency across the race is vital. The city itself is brilliant to visit, and my favourite part is The Bund area at night and seeing all the amazing buildings lit up.”
What was the key to securing the win in Shanghai?
“We thought a podium was achievable beforehand, but a win was a huge bonus. Salih clocked on right away with some excellent pace on race day and every pit stop by the team was slick and on point strategy wise. It is easier to be ahead at Shanghai rather than chasing so that you can control tyre wear at your own pace, so when Salih put us into the lead we felt we had a chance of managing the race from there on in. We also had a bit of luck with incidents our rivals got involved in, so in many ways it turned out to be a perfect race for us.”
How will you approach the next WEC event in Bahrain?
“It really is one of my favourite circuits, I love the layout and my driving style seems to suit racing there. The downside is that due to leading the championship we’ll be carrying the full 45kg success ballast so that’s going to be very difficult, plus it’s an eight hour race with big points up for grabs so we need to focus on getting the best result possible under the circumstances with a view to keeping our championship hopes ticking over.”
Looking ahead to the rest of the WEC season, what are you most looking forward to?
“Definitely Brazil as have never been there before and Interlagos is one of the few major circuits I’ve not raced at so will be amazing to learn. The big one is obviously Le Mans though. I’ve got a good feeling about it already but it’s double points and the final round for the championship this year so there will be a lot riding on it. Hopefully will be all to play for that weekend so it’s a really exciting finale”
Anything exciting on your wish list to Santa Claus?
“More championship points please, I’ve been good honestly!”