Jonny Adam’s ongoing commitment to the European Le Mans Series (ELMS) will prevent him from actively pursuing his record-extending fifth Intelligent Money British GT Championship drivers’ title alongside James Cottingham at Donington Park next weekend. Instead, the talented Phil Keen, who shares the series’ overall and GT3 wins record with Adam, will step into the driver’s seat of 2 Seas’ #4 Mercedes-AMG.
Despite this news, Jonny Adam’s championship hopes are not entirely dashed. If certain circumstances align, he could still clinch the title with his regular co-driver, James Cottingham.
Currently, Darren Leung and Dan Harper are trailing Adam and Cottingham by 13 points in the standings. For Adam to secure the title alongside Cottingham, Century’s crew must fail to overturn this deficit. Additionally, Cottingham must refrain from adding to his existing tally. According to regulation 7.9e, drivers who have consistently formed the same line-up throughout the events where they have scored points will not be separated. This rule plays into Adam’s favor, as he has remained paired with Cottingham throughout the season.
This situation echoes a chapter from Adam’s racing past. In 2013, his then-co-driver Andrew Howard won the championship solo, despite both drivers competing together throughout the season. A penalty that cost Adam six championship points that year created a similar challenge.
Phil Keen’s role as the substitute driver is not entirely surprising. He has already raced for 2 Seas earlier this season, driving the sister car alongside outgoing champion Ian Loggie when Keen’s regular co-driver, Jules Gounon, was unable to compete at Portimao. Keen was also scheduled to step in for Adam at Silverstone earlier in the campaign before the ELMS round at Imola was canceled.
Jonny Adam’s chances at retaining his title are not without hope. He benefits from Leung and Harper’s need to finish fifth or higher to overcome their starting deficit in the standings. This task is further complicated by the BMW’s requirement to serve a maximum of 20 seconds of Compensation Time during their pitstop. However, Darren Leung has shown his ability to overcome such challenges, having won on his GT3 debut at the same circuit last year, even after overcoming a 10-second handicap.
The British GT Championship showdown at Donington Park promises high-stakes racing and intense competition as Jonny Adam’s title hopes hang in the balance. The racing community eagerly anticipates the outcome of this thrilling chapter in British GT history.