Jonny Adam believes he and Ahmad Al Harthy have a better chance than ever to fight for the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup Pro-Am championship this season, following a strong run at Monza.
The pair is tackling the series for the third consecutive season, but with a new team behind them in reigning British GT and Michelin Le Mans Cup champion TF Sport.
With improvements made over the off-season, Adam is confident he and Oman Racing Team with TF Sport will be in the running for the Pro-Am honors this year.
“Testing has really gone well in Blancpain GT and Ahmad has really upped his game massively over the winter,” Adam told Sportscar365.
“He’s done a lot of training and really got his head into trying to win the championship. He’s got a completely different mindset to last year.
“Switching teams and cars has really made an impact, and I think we’ve got a great car underneath us, and with that, the tire, and a lot of testing and some good setup changes, it’s all been bolted together.”
Adam and Al Harthy, as the only two-driver lineup in their class, got their season off to a good start at Monza last month.
The No. 97 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 took top Pro-Am class honors at the Italian race, but also came eighth overall helped by a strong final stint from the Aston Martin Racing factory driver, which saw him set the lap record.
“We weren’t too surprised with the pace that we had at Monza but I think a lot of others were,” Adam admitted.
“Our plan was to run Ahmad for a double stint, purely because we qualified so well and he was at the right end of the grid to go with the pack.
“Like any Am, when you see a faster car in front, they normally attach themselves to that and improve their lap times.
“That was always the strategy, but also we had elected to run Ahmad for as long as possible to give me as fresh a tire as possible for the last stint.
“It took a while to get past the Pro cars, but as soon as I got going in clean air, the tire was really superb all the way through.
“For me, it was like qualifying for 55 minutes. Every lap was on the limit, but the car gave me that feeling. The boys did a mega job.”
Adam says the decision to run a two-driver lineup for the three-hour Blancpain GT rounds was made with a view to getting Al Harthy as much seat time as possible.
Last season, they were joined by Devon Modell in the Motorbase-run car.
“We weighed up our options and Ahmad decided early on after the season finished last year to do Blancpain again,” Adam explained.
“We sat down with TF, and they elected to run two [drivers], because with the more time he gets in the car – like any Am – the quicker he is. It has massively made a difference to his overall performance this year.”
With the improvements made over the off-season in Al Harthy’s pace and with a more familiar team behind him, Adam believes this could be the year Oman Racing Team wins the Pro-Am Cup.
“It’s a big push,” he said. “We finished fourth in that championship last year and I can’t see why we can’t challenge for the championship.
“The Kessel Racing car is going to be fast, and they won the championship last year. They’ve got two really fast Silvers and an extremely fast Bronze in the car, and the car’s good.
“I think we’ve got the package to challenge them though.”