Lady Luck will be riding with Le Mans 24 Hours winner Jonny Adam as the Fifer bids for back-to-back victories in the world’s greatest endurance race this weekend.
Victorious in the 2017 GTE Pro class, Aston Martin Racing factory driver Adam has Lady Luck emblazoned on his race helmet and overalls – but hopes he won’t have to rely on too much rub of the green to deliver another sensational Circuit de la Sarthe success.
In last year’s thriller, 33-year-old Adam’s last-lap overtake of a Chevrolet Corvette rival was a standout highlight of the blue riband event and the Scot’s third consecutive French foray brings with it the 24 Hours debut of the new Aston Martin Vantage GTE.
“It’s a great feeling going back as reigning champion and adds some extra confidence ahead of the race week,” said Adam, who partners new teammates new Maxime Martin and Alex Lynn in the #97 car this year.
With Formula One star Fernando Alonso in the LMP 1 Toyota team tipped for overall honours, and ex-F1 World Champion Jenson Button also making his Le Mans debut the race once again promises to be a classic for 300,000-plus spectators.
The GTE Pro category is shaping up to be the toughest fight across the classes and Adam hopes the stunning new Vantage will be right there when the chequered flag drops on Sunday afternoon – 24 hours after French Open tennis winner Rafa Nadal sends the 60 car field off for the 86th running of the event.
“The level of GTE Pro is arguably even tougher than last year with more new entries, so it raises the bar of the challenge and keeps you focused on what is needed to ensure we can take the race to our rivals,” said Adam.
“It’s the highlight of the season so far, and as a team our preparation has been really detailed to make sure we do everything we can to deliver a good result for our fans and partners.
“The new car is beautiful to drive and is a major step forward from its predecessor, so if we can have a clean race we believe we can challenge for another top result.”
Adam, who teed himself up for the trip to France with a weekend podium in the British GT Silverstone 500, added: “There is no other race that has this amount of pressure, it’s one of the biggest in the world and I enjoy that as it makes us more determined to perform to our maximum as a team.
Experience is key at la Sarthe and the previous outings have schooled Adam in how to grab vital sleep between stints on the legendary 8.4 mile circuit – a mix of racetrack and public roads – where 85% of the lap is spent at full throttle and cars reach more than 200 miles per hour.
“In my first Le Mans 24 Hours I think I slept for about one hour max as I was so excited about being there.
“Last year was much better, but the general sleep pattern is around 4-5 hours overall.
“We actually don’t see much of each other as teammates during this event as it’s like doing shift work at different times, but hopefully we’ll all be together on the podium at the end of it,” said Adam, a double British GT champion and the winningest driver in the prestigious series.