A club-level series for MINI racers is poised to hit the track for the first time in 2023 via the launch of new Clubsport classes within the hugely-successful MINI CHALLENGE.
The brainchild of MINI CHALLENGE racers Tom Halliwell and Robin Austin, along with the backing of Quaife MINI CHALLENGE promoter Antony Williams, the Clubsport classes operate as an affiliate to the hugely successful JCW and Cooper categories and will provide drivers with the opportunity to take their first steps onto the MINI CHALLENGE ladder.
The three classes within MINI CHALLENGE Clubsport will be Cooper S, Open and Cooper Am, with cars running together on track to create one bumper field.
A calendar featuring 15 races spread across six meetings has been put in place for the inaugural season, with visits to the likes of Cadwell Park, Thruxton, Mallory Park and Brands Hatch, amongst others.
Robin Austin, MINI CHALLENGE Clubsport joint championship co-ordinator, said: “Both Tom and myself were aware that there were a number of drivers out there who either own MINIs that aren’t eligible for the main MINI CHALLENGE, or who don’t have the budget required to compete in the Cooper or JCW classes.
“Rather than those people competing in a range of different multi-marque championships, we decided to investigate the possibility of creating a new championship where they could all race together.
“Having spoken to Antony for advice and guidance, we’re delighted to be in a position where we can now go public with our plans, and announce the launch of the MINI CHALLENGE Clubsport classes as an affiliate to the existing JCW and Cooper championships.
“We’ve been able to put together a calendar that provides the chance to compete at a number of high-profile events, and have put regulations in place that we know will provide exciting and competitive racing at an affordable level for drivers.”
Antony Williams, MINI CHALLENGE Promoter, added: “We are keen to support any MINI racers out there who want to compete on track, and there is clearly demand for the re-introduction of the Cooper S, Cooper Open and Cooper Am classes that were part of the MINI CHALLENGE prior to the pandemic.
“We’re delighted to now be working with Tom and Robin to enable them to run the three classes as a club-level option through the MINI CHALLENGE Clubsport classes, and look forward to seeing how it develops during the year ahead.”
MINI CHALLENGE Clubsport 2023 Calendar:
15/16 April – Cadwell Park – 3 x 12min
20/21 May – Mallory Park – 2 x 15min
8/9 July – Thruxton – 2 x 15min
5/6 August – Brands Hatch – 3 x 15min
16/17 September – Silverstone National – 3 x 12min
14/15 October – Donington Park GP – 2 x 15min