24 Hours of Le Mans: Scots hopes rest on Jonny’s shoulders at La Sarthe

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Fifer Jonny Adam is the sole Scottish hope in the world’s greatest sportscar endurance race this weekend.

Aston Martin factory driver and reigning British GT champion Adam is flying the flag for the famous marque at the 85th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in a return to the blue riband French event after a successful debut there last year.

Jonny Adam with the Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GTE

The star-studded entry list usually features a raft of Scots across the classes, but in an unusual turn of events the 32-year-old is the only Scotsman on the grid at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

After finishing sixth in class on his 2016 debut, back-to-back British GT title winner Adam has said he is determined to put his experience to good use in the #97 Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GTE when the flag drops on Saturday afternoon.

“The excitement is always there for Le Mans, it’s one of those races that gets the butterflies going even for a professional racing driver,” he said.

“Last year was my first time competing with the factory team which was special, but knowing what’s in store I’m probably looking forward to it even more this time around.

“In terms of understanding what’s needed on track, navigating the early stages of the race sensibly then getting through the night with no major setbacks is vital. If you can stay in contention until the final eight hours, then that puts you in a strong position to attack.”

Adam continued:”It’s such a demanding circuit and such a long race that having previous experience of it really helps you understand what’s required to prepare and then manage yourself and the car during the race.”

The #97 has qualified in pole position and Adam said Aston Martin is ready for the fight with class rivals including last year’s triumphant Ford GT.

“We’re in a good place, have a strong package and are confident all three factory cars have a great chance in the race.

“The strengths of the Vantage mean it’s probably better suited to this circuit than any other on the calendar, but we must make the most of it.

Jonny Adam and Darren Turner© Supplied
Jonny Adam and Darren Turner

“I’ve been driving alongside Darren Turner all year in the world championship so we know each other well and it gives us continuity. It will be his 15th appearance at Le Mans and all that experience to fall back on is invaluable.

“Our Brazilian team-mate Daniel Serra is making his debut at Le Mans so I’ll be doing everything I can to help him settle in, but he has a fine pedigree so I’m sure he won’t be fazed at all. Both guys are super quick and I really enjoy racing with them, so we’ll be pushing the #97 as hard as we can.”