Pride still high for Jean-Karl Vernay despite TCR Europe title miss

Team WRT’s Jean-Karl Vernay says he and his team “can be really proud” of their TCR Europe series season, despite narrowly missing out on the title to Mikel Azcona in Barcelona.

Vernay finished seventh in Race 2, having started from 12th on the grid, but lost out to Azcona in the standings by 22 points.

He told TouringCarTimes: “We gave everything, did two pretty cool races. I spent a bit too much time behind Azcona if I wanted to fight for the podium. But we can be really proud of our season even though we didn’t win the championship.”

Vernay lamented missing the second round of the season at Zandvoort in May (to focus on WTCR commitments), which the Frenchman believes would have given him a better shot at the title coming into the Barcelona meeting.

“I won’t say we should have been champion, but we could have had more chance to win it if we didn’t miss an event,” Vernay said.

“Maybe the TCR Europe is not the equivalent of WTCR but a title is a title and for sure we didn’t want to finish second. It’s been a difficult season because of the weight compared to the others.”

The only Audi in the championship this season, Vernay was also satisfied in ending the season as runner-up after a dismal weekend in Hungary, where he only scored just six points over the weekend.

“We were the only Audi which meant we were always with 60kg, we missed an event and then we had one shitty weekend in Budapest. P2 is already very good and we can be proud, all the sponsors and for Audi and WRT, it’s pretty good. Azcona did a very good season, he was very consistent and has a good car. He did a good job so congratulations to him,” said Vernay.

Vernay nevertheless finished ahead of Azcona on the track after pulling off a fantastic round-the-outside move on the PCR Sport Cupra driver under braking for Turn 1.

“It was a nice move. I didn’t want to touch him, but I knew he was going to be champion even if I win and he is eighth. So it was not possible to win the title, but it was clean and looked nice from the outside I’m sure,” Vernay added.