TCR Australia driver Liam McAdam has recruited experienced Audi TCR driver Jean-Karl Vernay to assist his learning curve ahead of the 2020 season.
McAdam and Vernay, along with the team’s new race engineer John Russell, are at Phillip Island today, gaining invaluable experience as the team aims to challenge the larger teams in the 2020 series.
McAdam’s Brisbane-based privateer team has secured the Audi RS 3 LMS that was run by Melbourne Performance Centre in the hands of a number of drivers last year.
Vernay was one of the drivers that drove the fast blue Audi, claiming pole and a race win at Queensland Raceway in August.
Having committed to a full season in the emerging turbo-charged series, Vernay has come to Phillip Island to help get the most out of the car and his own driving.
Vernay is one of the most accomplished TCR drivers from around the world. He won the 2017 TCR International Series, as well as the 2018 TCR BeNeLux title and is a winner in the WTCR Championship. Last year he drove for the Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team in WTCR, finishing 10th in the title including two podium results.
McAdam contested the final three rounds of last year’s TCR Australia Series, scoring a best result of sixth at Sandown.
He has competed in a variety of classes in Australia, including winning the Kumho V8 Touring Car Series, selected events in Super2, as well as Formula Ford and the Toyota 86 Series.
Another important recruit for McAdam’s team is John Russell. A former Formula 1 and Supercars engineer, Russell will lead the team’s technical direction.
The team will conduct more testing ahead of the pre-season test at Winton Raceway on February 26.
The first race event for the carsales TCR Australia entrants will be at Albert Park, supporting the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix.
TCR Australia driver
“Having JK here is very advantageous for our testing program,” said Liam McAdam.
“He has been really good getting set-up advice, and he has had some of his engineers from WTCR giving us some further assistance. Straight out of the box here at Phillip Island, the car has felt really good.
“We’ve also been working on my driving, because he is far more experienced than myself and is able to give the feedback that I need to get the most out of these cars.
“The whole point of running the last three rounds last year was to get a taste for the cars and understand them. Running with MPC we learnt a lot, and it has put us in a good position to run our own privateer effort.
“It’s great to have John Russell with us too. I first worked with him in 2015 in Super2, and the opportunity came to snatch him up so we are very excited and we are going to work well together.”
“He has bought the car that I raced at Queensland, and he wanted some tips and using my experience to ensure that he is a title contender this year,” he said.
“Liam showed good potential last year and the test has been going well.
“I’m just here to show him some tips to make the difference driving wise, as well as some technical support. He is doing everything right, so we’ll see how he goes at the first race.
“Phillip Island is an impressive circuit. When you see a track like this with such a landscape, it is unbelievable. I’ve never seen anything like this before. It’s a magic place.
“I’ve done a few laps around here. I’m really impressed with the track and I’m sure we’re going to have some fun.
“I would really like to come back to Australia for some racing at the TCR Bathurst 500 or even the Albert Park races. We’ll just have to see what the future holds.”
See below for video from the test at Phillip Island