Jean-Karl Vernay has jumped ship to sign with Hyundai Motorsport to become a second test and development driver for its Veloster N ETCR programme.
Vernay had only last September signed a deal with Romeo Ferraris to be the Italian firm’s driver in the new PURE ETCR series.
Now the Frenchman will instead work for Hyundai in developing its new ETCR electric racer, whilst details of Vernay’s program for 2021 as a customer racing driver will be announced in due course.
Vernay will work alongside Brazilian Augusto Farfus on the development of the new electric racer, which became the first car to be fitted with the final specification e-kit in Summer 2020.
Farfus himself demonstrated the Veloster N ETCR last month ahead of the Daytona 24 Hours in the United States of America.
“I’m very happy to be joining the Veloster N ETCR project as a Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing driver,” said Vernay.
“When I was presented with the opportunity it was one I couldn’t miss. To work with a big manufacturer is always fantastic, and Hyundai Motorsport have a long term vision that I’m excited to be part of.
“I know Augusto Farfus and the engineers have already put a lot of work into the chassis and e-kit components.
“I’m looking forward to taking advantage of that, but also playing a role myself in the development of the car in the weeks and months to come so the Veloster N ETCR can be just as successful as Hyundai’s previous TCR designs.”
Hyundai Motorsport Team Principal Andrea Adamo is looking forward to working with experienced TCR driver Vernay, who first raced touring cars in 2016 and last year competed in the FIA World Touring Car Cup in an Alfa Romeo.
“Jean-Karl Vernay is the perfect fit to be a Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing driver,” said Adamo. “He has a lot of experience, and success, in TCR racing and throughout the motorsport world.
“His first focus with us will be working alongside Augusto Farfus on the development of the Veloster N ETCR. From the first tests in the next weeks his feedback will help our engineers, and those from the ETCR suppliers, to continue their work as everything builds towards the first competitive events.
“However, I am confident that whatever cars and roles he takes with Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing projects we can expect excellent results.”