Last night was the annual Porsche “Night of Champions” celebration at Weissach. One man walked away away considerably happier than when he went in.
Driving for Sébastien Loeb Racing, twenty five year-old Frenchman, Jean-Karl Vernay, won the Carrera Cup France at his first attempt last season. The winners of Carrera Cups France, Asia, Japan, Scandinavia, Italy, Australia, Great Britain and GT3 Cup Challenge Canada went on to a head-to-head at Vallelunga, where Vernay emerged victorious. As a result, Porsche will support Vernay to the tune of €200k through a 2013 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup campaign.
Jean-Karl has already carved out a decent reputation for himself. In 2005, he claimed the Formula Renault Campus championship. The following year, he drove in A1 GP, where he was snapped up by Red Bull for their Red Bull Juniors programme alongside current Toro Rosso pilot, Jean-Eric Vergne. Then followed three years in European F3, where he finished fifth in 2009.
In 2010, Vernay went to the USA and won the Indy Lights Series in his first season. Peugeot contracted the Frenchman as a test and reserve pilot for their LMP1 project in 2011. At the same time Vernay competed in the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup and was crowned LMP2 champion. This is one hot pedaller!
“The support from Porsche is a great opportunity for me,” said Jean-Karl. “In the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, all drivers have to adjust to a new vehicle. As a series newcomer, I’ll have a good chance to be competitive right from the beginning. Supercup is the pinnacle of the Porsche one-brand cups and has a great reputation as a launching platform to enter professional GT sport.”
When one could catch it live on TV, Supercup 2012 provided quite exciting racing. Could a rookie take the title next year? Time is moving on for the twenty five year-old: there’s no such thing as a learning season any more and Supercup is run in front of the big boys. Should be pretty thrilling to watch.