Sam Weller insists that consistency was the main factor in him successfully winning the Quaife MINI CHALLENGE title in his Graduate campaign.

The Hybrid Tune driver grabbed his first series win in the opening race of the campaign at Donington Park and would remain out front for the majority of the year to build a handy lead to take into the final round at Brands Hatch.

Successfully wrapping up the crown in race one, Weller would end the year with the best qualifying average and with twelve podium finishes to his name, whilst he would be leading Graduate Cup runner home in all 20 races.

“I needed to see the trophy for it to really sink in, and it feels amazing to have wrapped up the title,” he said. “For us, consistency has been the important thing this year, and if this was a series without dropped scores then we will probably have won it a lot earlier as we’ve been there scoring points every race.

“It’s been a fantastic season and credit has to go to the team, because it isn’t easy to put these cars out on track in every competitive session and not have any problems – but that is the situation I’ve found myself in.

“The effort that has gone in has been phenomenal and it’s reflected in the end results.”

Weller’s title win came in the second year for Hybrid Tune in the JCW category, with the team expanding from the two-car effort it had run in 2021.

Stephen James took a step back from racing to run the team, with Joe Tanner, Hannah Chapman and Taylor Whitson making up a four-strong line-up.

Although Whitson would call time on his season early and Chapman would be sidelined by her accident in testing at Knockhill, Kyle Reid, Matty George, Sam Smith and Ross Marshall would all appear in Hybrid Tune colours before the season was run.

“Running more cars made it easier in one way as there were more team-mates to work with and more data to share,” Weller said, “but at the same time, there was also more pressure.

“As the guy at the front, it was down to me to push for the title that everyone in the team wanted to win, and the pressure was certainly there.”

Weller’s next step is yet to be confirmed, with the champion eager to follow the likes of Ant Whorton-Eales and James Gornall in making the move into the BTCC, although it remains to be seen whether that is something that works financially given the increased budget required.

“Like a lot of guys on the grid, I’d love to get into touring cars but who knows what lies ahead,” he said. “I’ll have to wait and see but the hard facts are that it will take a lot of money to move up from the JCWs into a BTCC car and I’d need to find some big backing.

“When you add in the fact that teams need people to commit so they can get entries in and secure their licences, it doesn’t make it any easier.

“Whatever comes next, I can look back on this season with pride as not only have I won the title, we’ve also pushed the team in the right direction, and that was our primary goal.”