VERNAY ENTERS FIA WEC!

It had been in the works for several months, ever since he diligently tested the asphalt with the Isotta Fraschini Typo 6 LMH-C as a development driver. Jean-Karl Vernay has been named an official driver for the Milanese brand for the 2024 season of the FIA WEC.

He will be accompanied by Mexican Alex Garcia from FIA Formula 3 and the LMP3 2023 champion. The name of the third driver should be announced soon.

JEAN-KARL VERNAY AND THE ART OF COMEBACK

The life of a professional driver is not always smooth sailing. Since the end of the PURE ETCR and FIA WTCR championships, the Frenchman has not been idle. As the Customer Racing Manager for Duqueine Automotive and a father of his first child (which keeps him busy), at 36, he seemed to be gradually moving away from the circuits. But, as he has demonstrated throughout his career, winning the Indy Lights championship (2010) or racing in Japan in SuperGT (2014), “Jay-Kay” rebounds once again, this time joining the premier category of endurance racing!

Endurance racing will not be a new experience for him. As a test driver for Peugeot Sport on the 908 HDI FAP and ILMC champion in LM P2 (2011), winner of the 24 Heures du Mans in GTE am (2013), Jean-Karl Vernay returns to a category he knows well, but in Hypercar this time.

For the driver, it is obviously a great satisfaction: “It’s fantastic, it’s crazy! Driving a car of this power is exceptional. Apart from F1, there’s nothing better. I’m having a blast, especially since I’m perfectly in rhythm, and the car is too. We’ll see what the BOP (Balance of Performance) brings, but our times are encouraging for such a young car, and reliability is there.”

So far, the multiple test sessions have validated numerous systems related, among others, to hybridization. Now, Duqueine Automotive, which will operate the car in FIA WEC, takes over. The team will focus on the setup to chase performance.

A QUICK TOUR ON THE HIGHWAY!

To comply with regulations – an hypercar is a road-going supercar adapted for competition – manufacturers must produce at least 12 cars designed for “civilian” use.

So, some motorists who took the Milan – San Remo highway a few weeks ago may have thought they were hallucinating. Indeed, Jean-Karl Vernay was convoying the very first Isotta Fraschini LMH Strada, casually heading towards the Riviera (see the video). You don’t see a 1,000-horsepower car weighing just under 1,000 kilograms on the corner every day…

A PROMISING SEASON

With 14 manufacturers, including 9 in Hypercar, a historic record, the FIA WEC has never been more attractive! Isotta Fraschini thus joins the newcomers of the year: Alpine, BMW, Lamborghini. Looking forward to February 24, 2024, for the official prologue in Qatar!