Proposed details of TOCA Junior Championship revealed

TOCA – organisers of the British Touring Car Championship – have today (November 6) provided initial outline information regarding its proposed TOCA Junior Championship, which is set to hit the track in 2025.

The full specification and details of the TOCA Junior Championship is currently scheduled for release in the Spring next year, subject of course to the required MSUK permit having been granted beforehand.

At this time it is worth noting that the details around the new category remain subject to the final approval of Motorsport UK in relation to issuing the necessary permits for the new championship.

Therefore, the particulars contained in the announcement are in no way presumptive of that process. Instead, this is to ensure factual advance information is provided to the sport, rather than misinformed conjecture.

The all-new TOCA Junior race car will feature a bespoke rear-wheel-drive chassis that has been designed specifically for younger drivers. Providing excellent visibility, the car will be designed and built to the latest safety regulations and ROPS protection, along with the best industry standards in safety equipment.

The lively TOCA Junior spec-sealed 1800cc inline 4cyl engine, mated to a sequential gearbox and limited slip differential, will make the car fun, exciting and satisfying to drive.

The race car suspension, mounted on separate front and rear subframes, will provide enough adjustment to tailor the handling to suit each young driver’s needs. This, along with vented disc brakes with front/rear bias adjustment, will provide great stopping power to match the handling and performance.

All controlled parts will be sealed and marked to ensure conformity and a level playing field within their performance parameters.

The car is expected to weigh around 830kgs and thus will meet the MSUK criteria regarding the specific power/weight ratio for junior championships.

The cars will be equipped with the latest specification ‘FIA Advanced Racing Seat 8862-2009’, as well as FIA specification side impact panels and FIA homologated racing nets – all to ensure the highest level of safety for the driver.

The bespoke designed saloon car body will, importantly, provide plenty of space and protection for drivers of all sizes as well as driver coaches/instructors when needed. The front splitter and rear diffuser, along with a rear wing, will give the car extra grip. This, along with the support of Goodyear tyres, will give the car great performance on the most demanding circuits.

The car, parts and running costs will be priced in line with – and in many cases significantly below – some other existing junior cars.  A complete spare parts backup will be available at every scheduled championship test day and race meeting. 

The championship will also be rigorously policed and professionally managed by the same team that has, for the last ten years, operated the Junior Saloon Car Championship – which is currently the biggest junior championship in the UK.

As well, TOCA will be providing ongoing technical and sporting expertise to support and confirm the high-standards and long-term stability of the championship, while the BARC will be provide its at-event organisational infrastructure.

All races will be as a support championship to the BTCC, with the TOCA Junior series reaping the benefit of enormous trackside audiences and huge free-to-air live television coverage on ITV4 as well as further highlights on the ITV network.

Full details of the car and the 2025 programme will be released at its official launch in the Spring, ahead of taking orders and entries for delivery of the car to teams during the course of next year. The car will also be on display at all 2024 events. 

Initial expressions of interest can be emailed to

MINI CHALLENGE to join TOCA support package from 2020

The MINI CHALLENGE will join the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship support bill full-time from the 2020 season onwards, further cementing itself as one of the country’s leading tin top championships.

In what is a multi-year deal for the one-make category, the MINI CHALLENGE will fill the vacant slot which will be left by the Renault UK Clio Cup – which will cease come the end of the 2019 campaign.

The top-flight CHALLENGE JCW Championship, which caters for the latest version of MINI’s 265bhp hot hatchback running on Dunlop slick racing tyres, is planned to feature at eight of the planned 10 BTCC weekends whilst the Cooper CHALLENGE will get a chance to shine on the remaining two fixtures. The exact split of dates has yet to be finalised.

Anthony Williams, MINI CHALLENGE Promoter, said: “The deal to join the TOCA package represents one of, if not the biggest moment in the history of the MINI CHALLENGE and it’s certainly something we’ve been working very hard towards over the last few seasons.

“The JCW is now a proven, purpose-built race car and driver feedback has suggested that it is the closest thing out there to the thrill of driving a full NGTC touring car, making the CHALLENGE an ideal feeder category toward the BTCC. During recent seasons we’ve had many BTCC teams come to join us, and we’re proud to boast a string of alumni drivers who have gone on to race successfully in the BTCC.

“Running in support of the UK’s biggest circuit racing championship will only strengthen that link further and we have to also thank our superb tyre partner Dunlop for its support in working toward this deal. We’ve enjoyed very healthy grids in recent seasons, and we fully expect that to continue as part of the TOCA package.

“The deal is also brilliant news for the Cooper CHALLENGE. Electing to run the JCWs at eight of the 10 rounds helps keep budgets under control, and also gives us the chance to elevate the Coopers onto the main stage and show the strength of the MINI CHALLENGE at all its levels.”

BTCC Series Director Alan Gow added: “We’ve kept an eye on the development of the MINI CHALLENGE over the last few years and it’s clear that it’s a very popular and competitive championship.

“At TOCA we are keen to showcase not just the British Touring Car Championship, but also the cream of national racing categories to our audiences both at the circuits and on TV.

“Recent years have certainly shown that the MINI CHALLENGE is an ideal feeder category for drivers aspiring toward a career in the BTCC and I’m sure the championship will be an excellent fit within our 2020 weekends and beyond.”

Kwik Fit announced as new BTCC title sponsor

TOCA has confirmed that the UK’s leading automotive servicing and repair company, Kwik Fit, is to become the title sponsor of the British Touring Car Championship for the 2019 season.

Goodyear Dunlop will remain as the sole tyre supplier to the BTCC under its current contract until at least 2022 however the championship will now be known as the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship.

In what is a collaborative effort between TOCA, Goodyear Dunlop and Kwik Fit, the introduction of a new title sponsor is aimed towards introducing the BTCC to more fans across the UK.

Alan Gow, BTCC Series Director, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Kwik Fit into the fold of the BTCC. This will undoubtedly enable us to introduce the BTCC to hundreds of thousands more motorists across the UK.

“It also gives Kwik Fit the ideal opportunity to further increase their brand awareness via the UK’s largest motorsport championship.”

Andy Lane, Marketing Director at Kwik Fit, added: “We are looking forward to becoming the title sponsor of the championship. It is a fantastic competition with a strong heritage which will significantly add to our marketing activities.

“We are very excited about connecting with the fans and teams during the season ahead as well as helping raise the profile of the championship with our customers across the country.”

Andy Marfleet, Goodyear Dunlop Marketing Director, concluded: “We have been supplying motorists with Goodyear and Dunlop tyres through the Kwik Fit network for decades and we are delighted to continue our connection as they take on the sponsorship of this fantastic championship.

“We will continue to be tyre supplier and an integral supporter of the BTCC; our association with TOCA has run continuously since 2003 and is stronger than ever before.”

Adam Smalley prevails as champion from Ginetta Junior Championship finale

The Ginetta Junior Championship crowned Adam Smalley as its champion at Brands Hatch this past weekend (September 29/30) following a dramatic final event of the season around the iconic Grand Prix circuit.

Having served up a year of thrills and spills, the Junior category had one last chapter of 2018 to write and it proved to be entertaining all the way.

After showcasing themselves to being in a league of their own against the rest of the field, Smalley, Louis Foster and Luke Browning all arrived at the Kent venue with a chance of being crowned champion.

All three would shine over the course of the weekend with Richardson Racing’s Browning being the first to do so in race one. With the lead pack bumper-to-bumper throughout, overtaking moves were being made at almost every turn and the decisive one came in the closing minutes as Browning muscled his way past Smalley into the lead.

Going on to score a pivotal victory, Browning kept his title hopes alive whilst Smalley banked solid points in second. Foster meanwhile could only salvage fourth as Patrick Kibble rounded off the podium.

Arguably the most crucial race came in the second Junior duel as Smalley prevailed to extend his points lead. In a race of attrition, the Elite Motorsport withstood a barrage of attacks from the chasing pack before a late safety car neutralised the race, and due to the clock ticking to zero, that is how things would finish.

With all three drivers heading into the final race of the season still in contention, Smalley found himself in the pound seat holding a 26-point advantage over Foster. Starting on pole position, Smalley dropped down the order early on as team-mate Foster stormed to the front of the field.

As the laps ticked by, the battle for supremacy hanged in the balance but as Foster crossed the line to record his latest victory after a back-and-forth battle with Browning, Smalley finished fifth and with it, sealed the championship crown.

“It was pretty horrific!” he said after the race. “I got passed on the first lap, and then beaten up after that. I knew I had to finish around sixth to take the title comfortably. The goal was to go out and win it, but I did what I needed to to.

“I couldn’t control the emotion, it was too overwhelming, I’m over the moon.  We’ve been unfortunate in races, coming out on top is great.”

For the full final championship standings and results from all sessions at Brands Hatch, click here.