Despite the disruption affecting the world of motorsport Aston Martin ace Jonny Adam is already targeting a hat-trick of wins as the World Endurance Championship heads to Spa-Francorchamps this weekend.
With his defence of the British GT Championship title having to be put on hold due to the knock-on effects of the global pandemic, the flying Scot has still managed to clock up victories on the international stage at Austin in the WEC with TF Sport and most recently at Imola in the GT World Challenge with Garage 59 alongside Alex West and Chris Goodwin.
Before he lines up on the grid in Belgium with Charlie Eastwood and Salih Yoluc in the Aston Martin Vantage GTE he offers his thoughts on what has been one of the most unusual spells of his storied racing career.
The global pandemic has had a massive impact on motorsport. How has it affected you and what have you been up to over the past few months?
“During lockdown I was just focusing on keeping as safe, fit and ready as possible for when we got the green light to return to racing. I did a lot of mileage running outside and really enjoyed it. My home simulator helped me keep sharp so I felt prepared after what seemed like a massively long time out of a real race car. Thankfully it did seem to do the trick as since returning to the track competitively results have been great so far.”
With regard to British GT, are you disappointed at not being able to defend your title and extend more records this season?
“Yeah it’s hard not coming back to defend it and try to increase my success in the championship, but it’s just the way it unfolded with the new revised calendar meaning date clashes and the uncertainty around travel restrictions and other unpredictable variables. It’s the first time in nine years I haven’t been racing in British GT and I’ll miss it, but you never know what will happen as the season unfolds and I’ll be around the paddock whenever I can.”
The World GT programme seems like a great alternative opportunity. How did the deal come about?
“I know the Garage 59 team well from their involvement in Aston Martin’s race programme and they had an opportunity for a pro seat along with Alex and Chris. The dates suited both parties and the whole package is very competitive. I thought we’d make a strong crew and in the Pro Am class, and with a win on our first outing hopefully that means we’ll be in for a good season!”
How do you feel your calendar for the year ahead is looking overall now? What are you looking forward to?
“I’m very fortunate to be involved in a nice mix of high-profile customer racing programmes with two great teams in TF Sport and Garage 59. I feel in WEC and GT World Challenge Europe we’ll be really strong, and I’d love to try and be successful in races such as Le Mans 24 Hour and the Spa 25 Hour events in the same calendar year.”
Are there any changes behind the scenes as result of the pandemic you think will have an impact on racing and make competing more challenging in the season ahead?
“The first few races being behind close doors feels strange with not having the fans on site to add the atmosphere, but I am just grateful to be going racing at all this year. There are measures in place from championships to follow each country’s guidelines and so far it’s all ok. I missed motorsport so much during lockdown so it’s lovely to be back behind a wheel of an Aston Martin Vantage again.”
You’ve done a lot of e-sports racing recently, how much have you enjoyed that and is it something you’d like to do more of in the future?
“I’ve really enjoyed it and learnt a lot. I use it to keep my racing brain sharp with race craft and different situations. It really does give you a rush when it’s close and competitive, but it is hard to go up against full-time sim drivers who are half my age and be beaten! It’s fun but really does serve a purpose and I’d like to do more of it along with customers in the winter off season.”
You’re second in the WEC GTE AM standings with three races to go, can you win the title?
“The TF Sport team have all been working really hard 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 Spa. I’ve got huge confidence in Charlie and Salih so there’s no reason we shouldn’t be aiming to win again if we also have a bit of luck on our side.”