Jean-Karl Vernay has been confirmed as Romeo Ferraris’ first driver for the new PURE ETCR series, where the Frenchman will race a Romeo Ferraris-developed Alfa Romeo Giulia electric touring car.
Vernay has been confirmed as the first of three drivers to join the team in the new series, whilst CUPRA has already announced that Mattias Ekström and Jordi Gené will be two of their drivers.
The 32-year-old had earlier this year signed to race an Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR for Team Mulsanne in the FIA World Touring Car Cup as the first part of his integration with the Italian company.
The new 500 kW (equivalent to 680 bhp) super-fast accelerating touring car is being developed at the same facility which honed Vernay’s Giulietta TCR car he races in WTCR.
“I’m glad to have the possibility to contribute to a unique new project,” said Vernay. “I want to thank Romeo Ferraris, and in particular Michela Cerruti and Mario Ferraris, who have believed in me and reconfirmed their confidence by entrusting me with an important and exciting task like developing a new car.
“It is something that I have done in the past, but it will be the first time I will do it for an electric car.
“This is tremendously attractive and motivating, as is the new innovative PURE ETCR concept developed by Eurosport Events.”
The Giulia is now in the latter stages of development in the Romeo Ferraris base near Milan. The car will become the second to visit battery integration partner Williams Advanced Engineering for its integration, after Hyundai’s Veloster N ETCR.
François Ribeiro, Head of PURE ETCR Promoter Eurosport Events, believes Vernay is a strong addition to the field for the new series.
“We are delighted to welcome Jean-Karl Vernay to PURE ETCR,” added Ribeiro. “He is a great and charismatic touring car driver and has raced at the front in all kinds of different machinery, from single-seaters at Indianapolis to GT cars at Le Mans.
“He brings a wealth of experience and ambition to the Romeo Ferraris Alfa Romeo programme. We cannot wait to see Giulia ETCR in action with JK.”
PURE ETCR will stage a ‘grand reveal’ on 9 October in Copenhagen city centre in Denmark, whilst the first event is scheduled to take place as a knock-out ‘battle’ format at Adria International Raceway on 14 – 15 November.