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Jean-Karl Vernay signs with Team Mulsanne for WTCR 2020

Jean-Karl Vernay will remain in the FIA World Touring Car Cup in 2020, racing an Alfa Romeo Giulietta for Team Mulsanne, which recently confirmed a one-car campaign for this year.

Vernay, 32, had been out of a drive after Audi pulled its works backing for 2020, leaving the four-time WTCR winner facing an uncertain future in touring cars.

However, last week Team Mulsanne confirmed that it would field a single-car entry in this year’s WTCR, thanks to the reopening of full-season entries for the delayed season, brought about by the global coronavirus pandemic.

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“I was waiting anxiously for this moment,” said Vernay. “I am delighted to announce an agreement with Team Mulsanne to drive the Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR by Romeo Ferraris.

“In recent years, I have had the opportunity to get to know Team Mulsanne and I am very happy to join them.

“Although Romeo Ferraris is certainly a smaller constructor with respect to the other brands, I was always impressed by their passion and determination and by the results they were able to achieve in the FIA WTCR, the most important championship for touring cars thanks also to the great promotion work of Eurosport Events.

“I’m confident that me and the team can be consistent, and, for this reason, the target could be to finish in the top ten in the standings.

“I really look forward to the start of the season after such a long break and I feel completely boosted.”

Michela Cerruti, Operations Manager of car builder Romeo Ferraris, believes that Vernay is a more solid bet than some of its driver choices in recent years.

In 2018, Team Mulsanne fielded Gianni Morbidelli and Fabrizio Giovanardi early in the year, before switching to Kevin Ceccon and Luigi Ferrara. Last year, the team opted for Ceccon and touring car race winner Ma Qing Hua.

“We are extremely happy to welcome Jean-Karl in our family,” said Cerruti. “The choice of Jean-Karl stems from a detailed analysis of the required characteristics for our driver this year.

“In the past, we have made choices that represented also a kind of bet. It worked out well, but we took some risks, which is something we cannot afford to do in a year such as 2020.

“We think that Vernay offers solid certainties, which is what we need.

“The 2020 FIA WTCR entails a huge investment for us that we have decided to undertake, also to second the organisational effort put in place by Eurosport Events, with a view to contributing to the common endeavour of strengthening motorsports in the not easy times that we are living.”

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