Jonny Adam admitted that he was pleased with the podium finish and fifth place in his most recent HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship outing at Oulton Park that has vaulted him into the top ten in the drivers' standings – but it is a return to the top step that he is really chasing as the circus moves onto Croft this weekend.
The double SEAT Cupra Cup UK Champion mounted the rostrum on his long-awaited BTCC debut in race three of the Brands Hatch curtain-raiser back in April, defeating Chevrolet rival Jason Plato for the win only to subsequently be demoted to second for on-track contact that had arguably cost the latter victory.
Though the subsequent rounds at Thruxton and Donington Park were rather more of a struggle – with no points from the former and a best result of sixth in the latter – Oulton witnessed something of a breakthrough for Adam, as he lined up an impressive fifth on the starting grid, four spots and more than two tenths of a second ahead of experienced race-winning Motorbase Airwaves team-mate Rob Collard, a man who he generally had the beating of weekend-long.
From there, the 24-year-old drove strongly to secure third place in race one, and he was similarly right in the heat of the battle for the final podium position in race two, tracking Plato and Matt Neal across the line in close formation at the chequered flag. It was the latter, however, who would prove to be his nemesis in the day's final encounter around the challenging and undulating Cheshire circuit...
“We kind of clicked,” Adam told Crash.net Radio
. “I like the circuit and I'm getting more used to this BMW now; we're kind of fine-tuning the car through myself, rather than taking big risks with set-up.
“To get a third and a fifth in the first two races was good for points, and we were sitting quite handy in race three in third, but obviously there was contact made at the hairpin with Matt Neal, and round we went. That ruined our race, so in a way it was a downer to not finish the day with good points.
“The car's very consistent over a race distance, which showed through Colin [Turkington] at Oulton. Even in the last race when we got taken out, we had really, really good pace – I think we set the second-quickest lap, next to my team-mate Rob – so the car was consistently there. It was just a shame that what had happened, happened.”
Nonetheless, the 16 points garnered from races one and two have lifted the Kirkcaldy-born ace to equal ninth in the drivers' title chase – and as his reputation grows at such an exalted level, he is inarguably getting nearer to the absolute pace with every passing weekend. With Croft up next, he is clear that there is only one target on his radar.
“We get to keep this [result],” he joked of the difference between his rostrum finishes at Oulton and Brands, “but we want a true win really. We felt we got it on-the-road at Brands, but we got it taken away. Hopefully it will come soon, and I feel we're getting closer to it, especially after this weekend. Hopefully we can be there or thereabouts come Croft.
“It's a good process we're going through now, and hopefully we can carry that sort of pace and performance onto Croft as well. It's a different style of circuit, but obviously Colin was quick there last year with the BMW, and if it does rain – just as Mat Jackson and Colin proved last year, and even the Motorbase cars – the car will be strong there, so I think wet or dry the car will be there. Again, I've never been round there in rear-wheel drive, but it's a circuit I usually get results at, so I'm really looking forward to it.”
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