This year’s MINI CHALLENGE JCW champion will be rewarded with a once-in-a-lifetime chance to boost their career in Asia, with a fully funded season in the Japanese Super Taikyu series worth in excess of £100,000.
The prize is being offered by Japanese firm Giomic and Chinese organisation Great Drive Group as part of a new relationship between British MINI CHALLENGE promoter Total Track,
Both Giomic and Great Drive Group have ordered F56 JCW CHALLENGE cars from Britain to launch their own versions of the CHALLENGE in their respective countries this season.
The British champion will win a full expenses-paid package to join both the Chinese and Japanese CHALLENGE champions at the wheel of a special endurance-spec MINI for the full 2019 Super Taikyu season.
Super Taikyu is a leading six-round endurance series in Japan, which caters for GT and touring car-style machinery and races at famous tracks such as Suzuka, Fuji, Motegi and Okayama.
“The fact that the champions of each MINI CHALLENGE will participate as a team will amplify the prosperity of international races and we feel confident that it will contribute toward the development of Japanese motorsport.
“Participating in the 2018 MINI CHALLENGE races will open doors toward world races and this will help to nurture drivers. We look forward to see who will take advantage of this prime opportunity.”
Great Drive Group’s Lawrence Kong added: “Great Drive is very honoured that Mr. Antony Williams (MINI Challenge UK) and Mr. Wataru Morishita (MINI Challenge Japan) agreed and trusted us to host the MINI Challenge Asia Series in China.
We have received great responses after organising three exhibition races in 2017, two at Fuji Speedway in Japan and one at Zhuhai International Circuit in China.
After in depth discussions within the MINI Challenge Asia Committee, we have set the Championship prize money at a very attractive rate in order to attract high-caliber teams and drivers to enter our 1st season. In addition to this, the champions of the MINI Challenge UK, Japan and China will form a team to compete full season in the 2019 PIRELLI Super Taikyu Series in Japan.
Together with MINI Challenge UK and Japan, we are “WORKING TO BE THE BEST ONE MAKE RACING CHAMPIONSHIP IN THE WORLD”
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MINI CHALLENGE UK promoter Antony Williams said: “This has got to be one of the biggest prizes in British motorsport, and what a way to kick off our strong new relationship with both Giomic and Great Drive Group.
“Motorsport in Asia is rapidly developing and the addition of Chinese and Japanese MINI CHALLENGE series is great for the brand and also great for the domestic racing scene of each country.
“The JCWs are the perfect springboard into touring car racing, and we’ve already had some great drivers in Britain move on to make an impact in the British Touring Car Championship. Having the chance to go to race in Japan for a full season is an amazing opportunity for this year’s champion. They’ll experience a whole new racing culture and be put on the perfect stage to try and build a career in Asian motorsport.”
Giomic’s Wataru Morishita said: “The Super Taikyu series started in 1990 and it is sanctioned by the JAF [Japan Automobile Federation] and is a very prestigious race series.