Organisers of the Vertu MINI CHALLENGE have confirmed more details on the new JCW Sport class that will debut next season, with entries having now opened for 2024 for both the new category and the headline JCW class.
Introduced to act as a steeping stone for drivers that are looking to graduate from the entry-level Cooper grid, the JCW Sport category will run alongside the headline JCW class at seven British Touring Car Championship rounds next year.
Cars will be based on the F56 variant of the MINI Hatch and although visually similar, the front-wheel-drive machine will feature a number of revisions under the skins that are all designed to reduce cost whilst maintaining the identity of the series.
Running slightly lower levels of power – 225bhp in total – to their JCW counterparts, JCW Sport cars will also be fitted with a genuine OE-pattern six-speed gearbox. There will be tighter restrictions on the use of tyres and control parts; again to reduce the budgets required to compete.
Whilst teams and drivers will be able to build new JCW Sport cars from scratch if they wish, existing JCW cars available in the marketplace can be down-specced to meet the required specifications, thereby removing the need to invest in a brand-new car to compete in the class.
Cars can then be converted back to full JCW specification should a driver wish to move up a level in future.
“We’ve had a lot of interest in JCW Sport both from drivers who have been competing in the Cooper class but haven’t had the budget to move straight up into JCWs, and also from drivers who have been competing elsewhere,” said Antony Williams, Championship Director.
“We’re pleased to now be able to release more information about the specification of the car, which we are confident will provide fantastic racing on track when the 2024 season rolls around.
“With a lot of people also interested in being part of the main JCW grid, we are looking forward to a strong season for the MINI CHALLENGE in 2024 and would urge anyone looking to compete to register their interest to fully benefit from the early bird discounts in place.”