British GT weekend’s are set to be even more action-packed in 2017 after the MINI CHALLENGE confirmed it would be joining the championship as an official support series.
MINI CHALLENGE’s JCW category, which runs the latest version of MINI’s iconic John Cooper Works hatch, will hold a mixture of double and triple-header rounds at six British GT meetings next season, as well as headlining another two MotorSport Vision Racing’s MINI Festivals at Brands Hatch and Oulton Park.
The JCWs are tuned to produce 255bhp from their two-litre turbocharged engines and run on slick racing tyres. MINI UK’s support will encompass not just parts and technical, but also promotional aspects, such as the funding a guest car, and mainstream television coverage.
“We at SRO are very pleased and excited to have the MINI CHALLENGE joining the British GT package full-time for next season,” said SRO’s General Manager Bernadette Fitzsimons. “Over recent years the championship has marked itself out to be the most entertaining single-make series in the UK and having it run with us in the UK will only enhance the spectacle of race weekends as a whole.”
MINI CHALLENGE Promoter Antony Williams believes JCW’s move to the British GT bill represents a signal of intent for the championship’s future.
“This is an exciting new era for the MINI CHALLENGE and shows how far we’ve come as a championship in the last four years with the support of MSVR and all our partners including Powerflex, Scorpion, Manic and Dunlop, who have been a key part of our success.
“To be racing on the SRO package – home of the hugely popular British GT and BRDC British Formula 3 championships – is great for driver exposure and also for MINI as a brand to be seen racing on one of Britain’s most popular motor sport stages. SRO, MINI UK and ourselves have worked very hard to bring all of these elements together, and this move brings us a step closer to our goal of becoming the best single-make championship in Britain.”
MINI UK Head of Product Nicolas Griebner added: “I am thrilled for the MINI CHALLENGE to be supporting the well-established British GT Championship with exiting and close racing from 2017 onwards.
“British GT has grown in the last 20 years to become the world’s foremost national sportscar series and the MINI CHALLENGE in the last 15 years one of the best one-make series in the UK.
“It is important for MINI to be seen in motorsport as it is our history and heritage. Supporting the MINI CHALLENGE means we can also filter technology from racing down to our road car range, as evidenced by the new MINI John Cooper Works Challenge edition, to give customers the purest possible experience on the road.”
The final round of this season’s British GT Championship takes place at Donington Park on September 10/11. Click here to reserve your advanced tickets.