Jonny Adam began his 2016 British GT title defence with victory in Sunday afternoon’s dramatic season opener at Brands Hatch.
The Kirkcaldy driver, making his racing debut with TF Sport Aston Martin and new team mate Derek Johnston, won a heavily disrupted race which ended 20 minutes early because of a car fire, and featured a 40-minute full course caution due to a huge crash involving numerous cars.
The Full Course Yellow was triggered by a serious incident at Pilgrim’s Drop involving another Kirkcaldy racer, Phil Dryburgh, from Motorbase Performance Aston Martin, the Simpson Motorsport Ginetta G55 GT4 driven by Nick Jones and Matty Graham’s Generation AMR Macmillan Racing Aston GT4.
All three drivers escaped unhurt, although the significant barrier damage caused by Dryburgh’s rolling Vantage GT3 required time-consuming repairs.
The race was still under Full Course Yellow when the pit window opened after 50 minutes and it was TF Sport’s decision to delay Johnston’s stop that helped Adam leapfrog from third to first.
The Fifer was seven seconds clear of his nearest challenger having set a new British GT lap record for Brands - 1 minute 24.695 seconds - when the race ended early, the red flag having been required to extinguish a fire that had brought the #56 Tolman Motorsport Ginetta’s involvement to an early end.
Jonny said: “It’s quite nice to join a new team with a new team mate and get such a strong start to the year.
“It’s a new environment for me but not a new car, which helps. It’s the same in terms of spec to the one I’ve raced over the last few years.
“We qualified third and really thought that a 3rd or 4th place would be a great result but the team played a blinder when it came to pit strategy.
“The result means that in the next round at Rockingham we’ll have 20 seconds extra to serve in the pit lane so we’ll be doing well to finish in the top four or five.
“It’s a good start but there’s a long way to go.”
This weekend Jonny travels to Italy with Motorbase for the opening round of the Blancpain Endurance Series at Monza.