Bri­tish ace Adam gets full-time WEC seat

Motor Sport News - - Racing News - By Rob Lad­brook

Bri­tish GT cham­pion Jonathan Adam has landed a fac­tory As­ton Martin Rac­ing seat for the full FIA World En­durance Cham­pi­onship this year, han­dling the rad­i­cally re­vised Van­tage GTE.

AMR took the wraps off its new GTE chal­lenger at its fac­tory in Gay­don last week. The new car con­tin­ues to be pow­ered by the same 4.5-litre V8 en­gine, but the chas­sis has un­der­gone sig­nif­i­cant re­vi­sion to meet the new aero­dy­namic rules set out by the FIA and Le Mans or­gan­iser the Au­to­mo­bile Club de l’ouest.

The new Van­tage fea­tures an all­new bodyshell and much re­fined aero, aimed at re­duc­ing drag and im­prov­ing top-end speed.

Adam, who lifted the Bri­tish GT ti­tle along­side An­drew Howard last year, will share the num­ber 97 car with New Zealan­der Richie Stan­away and Brazil­ian Fer­nando Rees in the GTE Pro class. AMR stal­wart Dar­ren Turner and Dan­ish pair Marco Sorensen and Nicki Thiim will han­dle the se­cond car.

The team has also switched tyre sup­plier to Dun­lop from Miche­lin.

Adam said: “This deal is just amaz­ing and it’s what I’ve been work­ing on for the last few years. To be do­ing the world cham­pi­onship with As­ton Martin is a phe­nom­e­nal op­por­tu­nity and the new Van­tage GTE is a big step for­ward.

“The GTE cars are more dif­fi­cult to race on the limit than the GT3S are, so you have to build fa­mil­iar­ity with it. The new Dun­lop tyres be­have dif­fer­ently too, but should favour our de­vel­op­ment di­rec­tion with a front-mid-en­gined car.”

Adam’s deal does bring about is­sues with his Bri­tish GT ti­tle de­fence. He is due to share a TF Sport Van­tage GT3 with Derek John­ston this year, but the WEC opener at Sil­ver­stone clashes with Bri­tish GT’S Brands Hatch round.

“We’re try­ing to see if there’s a way of do­ing both,” said Adam. “If not I have to pri­ori­tise whichever AMR de­cides is for the best in­ter­est. I’ve fought for Bri­tish GT ti­tles hav­ing not scored at the first round be­fore, so it’s not im­pos­si­ble.” ● AMR will also field two works Van­tage GT3S into the Nur­bur­gring 24 Hours. They will be crewed by Adam/stan­away/ Rees/mathias Lauda and Thiim/ Sorensen/turner/pedro Lamy.

roll the speed into a cor­ner with con­fi­dence. I think I’ll work re­ally well with Phil as he’s a great char­ac­ter and is al­ways smil­ing. It should be a very en­joy­able year.”

Mo­tor­base head David Bartrum added: “It’s a con­cen­trated Bri­tish GT ef­fort but it’s a very ex­cit­ing one. Ross is a star in the mak­ing and Phil is a big backer of Scot­tish mo­tor­sport so it’s about get­ting Ross into a com­fort­able en­vi­ron­ment to show what he can do. We know the Van­tage in­side out now and it’s a proven car so we’ll be go­ing for wins.”

Mo­tor­base also plans to run in the Euro­pean Blancpain GT classes this year.

New Van­tage has big aero changes The huge rear dif­fuser helps to re­duce drag As­ton men (from l-r): Rees, Adam and Stan­away

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