Jean-Karl VERNAY was born on 31 October 1987 in Villeurbanne (France). Trained at the karting and single-seater school, he is now an accomplished driver, winner in many categories in which he has participated and who stands out for his great versatility. Passionate about motor racing and sports in general, he is an avid golfer.
2000 – 2001
Karting Cadets, 3rd in the French Championship.
Junior Karting, 10th at the European Championship
• 1 pole position (Monaco Kart Cup).
2002 – 2003
Karting. Sodikart Official Pilot.
Junior Karting, 4th in the French Championship
• 1 second place (Monaco Kart Cup).
2004 – 2006
Formula A Karting, French Team member, 21st in the World Championship, finalist in the Belgian Championship.
Renault Campus formula.
• Champion, 12 podiums in 14 races, 6 wins.
Formula Renault 2.0, team SG Formula.
• Vice-champion (2 wins and 3 pole positions, 7 podiums, 7 best laps, best rookie.
2007 – 2008
Formula 3 Euro Series, team Dallara-Mercedes Signature. French Team member and Red Bull driver.
• 10th (1 podium) – 3rd rookie – 3rd of the European Masters F3 of Zandvoort.
Formula 3 Euro Series, French Team member and Red Bull driver, Dallara-VW Signature team
• 8th (3 podiums).
2009 – 2010
Formula 3 Euro Series, Dallara-VW Signature team, 5th, best Volkswagen driver (5 podiums, 2 wins).
• Pole position and 2nd in the Macau Grand Prix (FIA Intercontinental Cup Formula 3).
DTM test with Audi Sport. GT test with ABT.
Firestone Indy Lights, Champion and best rookie, (5 wins, 9 podiums in 13 races, championship leader from start to finish of season.
• Best hope award in the U.S.A and in France.
Peugeot Sport test and reserve driver (908 HDI FAP) for the 24 Heures du Mans and the ILMC.
Indycar tests for Conquest Racing.
ILMC champion LM P2 class with Signatech-Nissan team (today Signatec-Alpine).
DTM tests with BMW Motorsport.
Porsche Matmut Carrera Cup France with the Sébastien Loeb Racing team.
• 2012 Porsche Carrera Cup Champion. 13 podiums/14 races, 4 wins, 4 pole positions, 3 best laps.
2013 – 2014
Porsche Supercup with MRS GT-Racing team. 9 races, 29 points. Best place: 9th (Monza).
• 24 Heures du Mans: GTE Am class winner with IMSA Performance Matmut team (Bourret/Narac/Vernay).
• WEC: 3rd in the championship with Imsa Performance Matmut. 1 win, 2 podiums.
Super GT in Japan. Honda official driver (Weider Modulo Dome Racing team) – NSX Concept-GT. 3 races – best result: 5th.
GT Asia. Absolute Racing team. 2 meetings and podium in Shanghai with Gilles Vannelet (2nd) with the Bentley Continental GT 3.
2015 – 2016
Blancpain Endurance Series. With his team-mates Laurens Vanthoor and Robin Frijns, Jean-Karl Vernay signs 1 victory and 2 podiums on the Audi R8 LMS of the WRT team and wins the team title in Pro Cup class.
Audi R8 LMS Cup China. 2 races, 2 pole positions, 1 win, 1 podium!
GT Asia. 2 races on the Bentley Continental GT (Absolute Racing team) with Jeffrey Lee (16 points).
TCR International Series with Leopard Racing Team WRT. Jean-Karl Vernay discovers front wheel drive and Golf GTI TCR within a team where he meets the reigning world champion. With 3 pole positons, 3 victories and 4 podiums, he climbed in the first year in the top of the series with a 3rd final place in the championship.
TCR International Series. For his second year in TCR, Jean-Karl Vernay makes the Golf GTI and his Leopard Racing team shine. Regular at the highest level throughout a season where he has 8 podiums and 1 victory, JK Vernay wins the 4th title of his career by winning the pilot title: 2017 TCR International Series Champion!
FIA WTCR. Still with his team but at the wheel of the Audi RS3 LMS, Jean-Karl Vernay is competing in the brand new and very challenging WTCR championship. In the race for the title until the last round in Macau, he finally finished 5th in the drivers’ standings and 1st representative of the VAG group, with 4 victories (2nd in the number of victories behind Gabriele Tarquini, crowned 2018 champion). His season is honoured by the unofficial title of best city track driver (3 wins in Marrakech, Wuhan, Macau). It will not be a year without a title. At the same time vice-champion of the TCR Europe, JayKay won the TCR Benelux.
FIA WTCR. This second year in the World Tourism Championship, enamelled by some great feats including a new podium in Macau, is a difficult year overall. The top speed that was the strength of the Audi RS3 LMS the previous season has soared under the constraint of a balance of permormance that penalized the the rings mark. Qualifying is getting tough and you have to fight hard in the race to score points.
Jean-Karl Vernay ended the season as the best Audi driver on the grid, in 10th place in the championship.