Q&A with Optimum Motorsport's new signing, Jonny Adam
Yesterday we announced that two-time British GT champion Jonny Adam would be teaming up with Flick Haigh and Optimum Motorsport to race an Aston Martin Vantage V12 Vanatge GT3 in 2018.
Following another successful year, which featured a Le Mans class victory with AMR (inlcuding that move at the start of the final lap), a Blancpain GT Series Pro/Am title and becoming the winningest GT3 driver in British GT history, the Scot discusses how his fresh 2018 challenge came abaout as well as looking back on the last 12 months.
You’re back in BGT for an eighth season. What motivates you to keep coming back to the series?
"The British GT Championship is one of the best Pro/Am series in Europe and the racing in GT3 is always close between the manufacturers. It offers great coverage in the UK for drivers and teams, and is an important championship for Aston Martin to have presence in with good customers racing the very successful Vantage GT3."
How did the deal with Optimum come about?
"Aston Martin Racing were speaking to Optimum about running an Aston Martin Vantage GT3 and becoming a new customer alongside Flick Haigh. The option was there to support them, as we do with all of our customers, with a factory driver and everything got finalised a few weeks back. I have had a fantastic two years with TF Sport winning British GT with Derek Johnston and the Blancpain Endurance Series with Ahmad Al Harthy and everyone in the team are good friends, but racing with Optimum and Flick in 2018 is a fresh new challenge and I am already looking forward to it."
How much do you know about your new team-mate?
"Flick is at a very good level already with GT3 experience in Europe. We are planning a thorough test programme for her to adapt to the Aston Martin Vantage GT3, but the car I think will suit her very well as it's one of the easier GT3 cars to drive. As with Andrew Howard and Derek Johnston I will spend time coaching Flick in a GT simulator throughout the season to make sure our preparation is spot on and we go to Oulton Park for round one at the end of March as a strong package."
What are your targets for the 2018 BGT season?
"For me the target is to try and push for championship number three. I have big motivation as this is the third team Aston Martin Racing have placed me with in British GT, and my aim is to try and bring Optimum and Flick success with the Vantage GT3 in British GT as we have done with my team-mates in previous years."
How does BGT fit with your other racing commitments in 2018?
"The British GT calendar will fit nicely around my other Aston Martin Racing commitments including WEC and others yet to be announced. 2017 was a very successful year and will be hard to top in many ways, but 2018 will be an important season for everyone at Aston Martin Racing on and off the track and we'll hopefully have a few surprises up our sleeve."
How are you preparing for the 2018 season: relaxing with feet up at home or still testing and training?
"Things are well underway already. After some family time back in Scotland for me it will be back into heavy preparation for the WEC 'Super Season' with continued development and endurance testing of our new Aston Martin Vantage GTE, which has been running really well so far. Then we start the British GT testing programme with Flick and Optimum in the UK late January, so not long to wait until I am back in my office behind the wheel of an Aston Martin GT race car. Around all of that I'm also keeping fit and working with current/new sponsors for the 2018 season."
You collected a LOT of trophies in 2017! Where do you keep them all?
"It's a nice headache to have! This season has been topped off with recognition from both the SMRC and BRDC with some beautiful awards. It’s a great honour to be a member of these two important racing clubs that have supported my career throughout. So many of this year's awards have been very special, and in particular the Le Mans 24 Hours trophy which means a lot to me, so I try to keep them in sight. I've been trying to persuade my fiancee that they should have a room all to themselves but negotiations have stalled..."
What does a factory racing driver want from Santa for Christmas?
"The 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours on DVD of course! I could watch that race over and over..."
Click here to reserve your tickets for the opening round of 2018's British GT Championship at Oulton Park on March 31-April.