Former champion Kieran Vernon signs deal to return to the track

West Chiltington driver Kieran Vernon
West Chiltington driver Kieran Vernon

Highly rated British driver Kieran Vernon will make a surprise debut in the BRDC Formula 4 Winter Series finale at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit next weekend (November 23 and 24).

That’s after the West Chiltington racer tied up a deal with race-winning squad Hillspeed to team up with Jake Cook and Dimitris Papanastasiou.

Having spent over a year on the racing sidelines due to financial constraints, the 23-year-old will get his first taste of Formula 4 machinery with the Hathersage team next week during the build-up to the last four races of the Winter Series.

Vernon has strong links with Hillspeed having competed with the team in the Protyre Formula Renault Championship in 2012.

Despite missing the first three rounds of the campaign, the West Sussex racer still managed to end the season fifth in the title chase with four podiums.

Although he will be very much leaping in at the deep end next weekend at Brands Hatch, Vernon is confident of getting up to speed quickly and is looking forward to renewing his partnership with the Hillspeed squad.

“The opportunity came up and I have a good relationship with the team, having raced with them in Formula Renault BARC in 2012,” Vernon commented, “I haven’t raced this year so I’m really looking forward to getting back out in a car again.

“Hillspeed will put out a good car, as they always do. I’m confident in myself and sure we can target four strong results next weekend – hopefully we can get on the podium.”

Although budgetary issues haven’t helped Vernon’s career progress, he is still regarded as one of the UK’s top young motor racing talents and has a wide spread of experience. Graduating from karts to cars in 2007, he went on to win the Ginetta G20 Winter Series title the following year before making the move into single-seaters in Formula Ford, where he was Scholarship Vice-Champion in 2009.

Finishing fourth overall in Formula Palmer Audi in 2010, racing to three victories along the way, he then entered – and won – that year’s Porsche Carrera Cup GB Scholarship but was unable to take-up the prize drive the following season due to the familiar story of budget difficulties.

Vernon has also achieved success racing in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB and the Protyre Formula Renault and Hillspeed’s Richard Ollerenshaw said: “We’re delighted to be able to continue our relationship with Keiran. The intention, if the budget could have been found, was for him to have contested the main Formula 4 season this year but things just didn’t come together. And he added: “Kieran is a quality driver, as he’s proven in every category he’s raced, and if all goes to plan we’d love to get a deal together with him for F4 in 2014.”