Garry Rogers Motorsport has signed 21-year-old Jimmy Vernon to race one of its Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce cars in the inaugural TCR Australia season in 2019.
Vernon will race one of the latest specification cars built by Romeo Ferraris in Italy, with his team-mate to be announced in due course.
Vernon’s initial racing background was in single seaters, racing in Formula Ford in 2012 before moving on to Formula 4 in 2015. Since 2016 he has raced in production car series, claiming the Toyota 86 Racing Series title in 2017.
Last year Vernon competed in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge where he finished fourth overall, including securing a victory at the season finale at the Sydney Motorsport Park.
“To have been offered the opportunity to link with Garry Roger’s Motorsport is a great honour,” said the Sydney-based driver.
“Seeing the way GRM has nurtured some of the best Australian drivers over many years, it was an easy decision to make that this was the direction I needed to go.
“I have a very strong group of supporters helping my career take flight, although we still have some work to do to find more backing to ensure we have everything in place to have a serious crack at this inaugural championship.
“I can’t wait to cast my eyes over the brand new 2019 specification Alfa Romeo TCR car. I believe we will be bringing a really strong package to the category.
“I want to thank Garry and Barry for believing in me and giving me a chance to join their highly credentialed team.”
Vernon follows in the footsteps of drivers such as Jamie Whincup, Scott McLaughlin, Steven Richards and Garth Tander in starting his touring car career with GRM – something which Team Director Barry Rogers believes makes Vernon the perfect choice in signing with the outfit.
“Garry and I have always been keen on giving young guys a go,” said Rogers. “With the promise that Jimmy has shown over the past few years, we feel he is the perfect choice for our new Alfa Romeo TCR team.
“We chanced on our first meeting with Jimmy at the TCR launch day at Sydney Motorsport Park, and he struck us as a really enthusiastic kid with lots of potential.
“Looking at his CV, he clearly knows how to drive, and we are confident that he will be competitive.
“Anyone who wins the Toyota 86 Racing Series obviously knows what they are doing. It’s a one-make class that means the driver is the difference.
“Like the other young talent that we’ve had come through the doors at GRM, we can’t wait to get Jimmy immersed in our racing business.”