Jonny pushes the limits to win Blancpain title

Jonny Adam (second from left) on the Spa-Francorchamps podium.
Jonny Adam (second from left) on the Spa-Francorchamps podium.

Aston Martin ace Jonny Adam overcame heat exhaustion to become a European champion after a titanic battle at the 24 Hours of Spa.

By racing to second place in class, Jonny and team mate Ahmad Al Harthy sealed the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup Pro-Am drivers’ title – and secured the team championship for Oman Racing Team with TF Sport.

It continues a dream summer for the Kirkcaldy racer after victory at the Le Mans 24 Hour race in June.

“It’s always a special feeling just finishing one of the world’s toughest races, but to win a championship as a result is the icing on the cake,” he said.

It was far from plain sailing, however, as a problem with the Aston Martin Vantage GT3 air cooling system forced the drivers to endure extreme conditions.

“It one of the hardest races I’ve ever been in,” Adam said.

“Unfortunately we lost our right hand side air vent, so the cockpit temperature was extreme even for a race car.

“Over the course of the race I dropped 5kg in body weight, got cramp and suffered from heat exhaustion.

“Even without that sort of problem Spa-Francorchamps as a circuit is hard physically on the body, so by the end I was badly in need of food, water and sleep.”

The championship is the third major title Jonny has won over the past 12 months.

“This is right up there,” he said. “I have raced in this series for four years, and to win this class in one of the hardest fought seasons of the competition is special.

“It’s been not a bad 12 months, winning the British GT Championship, Le Mans 24 Hours and now this.

“However, I’m always looking forward to what comes next and there’s a long way to go yet this season.

“The target is now are to try and finish in the top three in British GT Championship, something I believe that can be achieved with Derek Johnston.

“The other main target is to make more progress in the World Endurance Championship both for the number 97 car and as a manufacturer.

“There are a lot of points on offer and we are still right in the mix with some favourable circuits coming up, so it’s a big push until the final round at Bahrain in November.”

Fellow Kirkcaldy racer Rory Butcher was also in action at the 24 Hours of Spa but unfortunately the Ferrari AF Corse squad failed to finish due to a crash.

“Lots of good experiences to learn from and I can’t wait to come back,” Butcher said.