Mechanical issue denies Adam dream Daytona result
A mechanical issue ultimately cost British GT3 champion and Sunoco Challenge winner Jonny Adam an overall podium finish at the Daytona 24 Hours last weekend.
But the Scot, along with Action Express co-drivers Simon Pagenaud, Dane Cameron and Eric Curran, was still delighted to come home sixth overall aboard the Prototype class-entered #31 Chevrolet Corvette.
Adam, who is more used to driving Aston Martins in British GT, was making his second ever Daytona 24 Hours appearance - and first in the Prototype category - as a prize for winning last season’s Sunoco Challenge.
Strong pace and clever pit strategy had helped the Corvette move from sixth to a net second over the opening three hours in the hands of Cameron. Adam was next up and, during his own quadruple stint, belied his lack of experience to not only maintain P2 but also set the race’s fastest lap up to that point.
Curran, Pagenaud and Cameron then kept the car in victory contention during the early hours before a small pit fire resulted in the Corvette falling to sixth overall and a lap down.
Adam climbed back aboard at around 6am local time and, through a mix of pace and strategy, was soon back on the lead lap and up to fourth. But his joy would prove short lived when, with an hour of his scheduled three remaining, the Chevrolet developed a rear axle issue. 13 laps were lost while the team worked to rectify the problem, bringing an end to their hopes of a podium finish.
Despite that disappointment, Adam was still delighted with how his Daytona outing unfolded.
“What an experience Daytona was!” he said. “Action Express Racing did an amazing job all weekend. We ran right at the front and were at one point leading the race. I loved every moment of my driving stints in the car and was very happy with my pace amongst a field of world class drivers.
“We lost a lap because of a flash fire in the pits, but managed to reclaim it and get back up to the lead pack in fourth. Then, unfortunately, we had a drive shaft issue. The guys turned the car around quickly and we finished sixth. My co-drivers Dane, Eric and Simon were awesome the whole race and the team effort across both cars was impressive. We thought a podium was in sight but luck just wasn't on our side.
“A massive thanks to the team, Whelen, and Anders [Hildebrand] from Sunoco.”
A new crop of British GT drivers have the chance to follow in Adam’s footsteps when the 2016 season begins at Brands Hatch on April 16/17.