Garry Rogers Motorsport has opted to change the driver of its second Alfa Romeo for next weekend’s fourth TCR Australia event of the year, with Jordan Cox replacing Jimmy Vernon in the car.
Vernon started the year with GRM, but has had a mixed season, with his best result being an eighth place at Phillip Island.
The 22-year-old’s form contrast significantly with that of his team-mate Dylan O’Keeffe, who won twice at Phillip Island and is third in the drivers’ championship standings after four podiums so far this year.
Cox, meanwhile, only joined the series for the most recent round at The Bend, racing a Honda Civic for Wall Racing where he immediately impressed, taking a trio of top tens culminating with sixth in races two and three.
Cox will take Vernon’s seat for next weekend’s races at the Queensland Raceway, but the substitution is only intended as a one-off, with Vernon expected to return for the following event at Winton.
“Jordan Cox will be in the #7 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce at Queensland Raceway, following his impressive debut in the Honda at Tailem Bend,” said GRM’s Barry Rogers.
“We have been watching Jordan for several years and he is very impressive in a front wheel drive car.
“Like many he came to our attention following the on-board vision across the top of Mt Panorama and a couple of years ago we watched him in his Honda Civic at the Adelaide 500 where again he showed immense ability in a front wheel drive car.
“We obviously have several cars on the horizon for 2020 and there will be drives available, so it’s a good opportunity to assess possible candidates. For us, a driver’s ability is very important, but even more so is how they integrate with the team and their work ethic and attitude.
“Jimmy is a young up and coming talent and we identified him during the 2017 Toyota 86 Championship, which he went on to win.
“Jimmy is a young man with plenty on his plate including the responsibilities of running the families sign writing business.
“After getting involved in a few incidents, we felt it best to give him a round on the sidelines to take breath and really think about how he goes about his racing and how much he really wants to do it.
“We expect that the break will do Jimmy the world of good and he’ll be back behind the wheel at Winton for Round 5.”
Cox puts the opportunity as the biggest of his motorsport career to-date, which has been largelyt in production saloons racing.
“It’s an outstanding opportunity,” said Cox. “It’s the biggest chance I’ve ever had in motorsport and one that I’ve very grateful for.
“It’s a bit of mixed feelings. We were making progress with Wall Racing, they are great guys, but Garry put an awesome deal on the table and its one that I have to take.
“I really can’t that David’s efforts enough for getting me on the grid at The Bend, but for my future, the chance to race with GRM in the Alfa was too good to refuse.
“It’s a different team and different car, but I’d like to pick up where I left The Bend. I want to work toward getting the car suited to myself as quickly as possible.
“One thing I learnt from The Bend is that you aren’t going to walk in and towel everyone up … you need to work at it to be successful. I’m really looking forward to the opportunity.”