Indy Lights champ finally gets an IndyCar test
Conquest Racing is keeping up its tradition of helping young up and coming drivers by giving current Firestone Indy Lights champion JK Vernay his first test in the IZOD IndyCar Series.
The Frenchman will be getting behind the wheel of an Indy car for the first time January 31 at Sebring International Raceway.
Vernay won the Indy Lights championship in his rookie season on the strength of eight podium finishes, including five wins, three of which came from pole position. He totaled 10 top-fives in 13 races and led a season high 172 laps while taking the title with a 23-point advantage over second place.
“I’m very happy to be taking part in my first IndyCar test and want to thank Eric Bachelart and Conquest Racing for giving me this opportunity,” shared the pilot whose JK initials stand for Jean-Karl. “I’m also glad it is taking place at Sebring International Raceway. I tested there last year with my Indy Lights team so I will be able to concentrate on driving the car and not have to worry about learning the track.
“I’m looking forward to learning as much as possible about the car and working well with my engineer and the team all while putting in good lap times. It will also be nice to return to a road course. The last road course I was on was in Sonoma about six months ago.”
“We’re thrilled to give Jean-Karl his first IndyCar test,” added team owner Eric Bachelart. “We’re known to help young drivers get their first chance in the big leagues and this corresponds well to what has become part of our team philosophy over the years. JK has proven his talent in the past and I can’t wait to see how he does in the Indy car.”
Before joining the Firestone Indy Lights Series, Vernay competed in the Formula 3 Euro Series from 2007 to 2009. In his final season in the championship he claimed two victories at Hockenheim and placed second at the famed Macau Grand Prix after setting a lap record in qualifying. In 2007, he also made three appearances for A1 Team France in A1GP, taking part in two of them as race driver.
In 2006, Vernay displayed his talent in the French Formula Renault 2.0 capturing two wins, seven podiums and three pole positions. Finally, in 2005, he won the Formula Renault French Campus Championship with 12 podiums, including six wins in 14 races.