Ronan Pearson will hope to challenge for the 2023 Quaife MINI CHALLENGE title after agreeing a deal to stay with the EXCELR8 Motorsport team for a second season.

The Scot joined EXCELR8 for the 2022 campaign and secured a maiden win in the opening event at Donington Park, eventually ending the year with a total of three victories as he finished fourth in the championship standings.

Pearson is the second driver to be confirmed in EXCELR8’s multi-car JCW line-up, and is likely to be the highest placed driver in the 2022 season to return to the grid next year.

As well as returning to the highly-competitive single-make series, the 21-year-old will continue in his role as official Development Driver for the EXCELR8’s title-winning British Touring Car Championship team.

That will see him work alongside EXCELR8’s BTCC outfit over the course of the year and will also see him sample the Hyundai i30 Fastback N that carried Tom Ingram to the 2022 title in an official test during the new season.

“I’m delighted to have signed this new deal with EXCELR8 as I really wouldn’t want to be anywhere else,” he said. “The guys and girls in the team are absolutely incredible and over the past twelve months, they have allowed me to make constant progress to take my career to new heights.

“This season I’ve shown that I am capable of winning races and putting together a championship challenge, and there is no doubt that the title has to be the goal for 2023. I just need to get my head down and keep working hard. and hopefully we will be able to build on the platform I’ve put in place this year.

“The opportunity to not only return to the JCWs to chase the title in 2023, but to also strengthen my ties with the BTCC team, is really pivotal for me as a driver as my goal is to try and make it onto the touring car grid for 2024.

“The chance to test the Hyundai and to work even more closely with the BTCC team will hopefully be a bit easier given I know a lot of them from the junior role I held last year, and it’ll be good to see how I shape up against the rest.”

Team owner Justina Williams said she was pleased to keep Pearson onboard.

“Ronan was a fantastic addition to our JCW line-up this season and we’re delighted to confirm that he will be with us again for 2023,” she said. “Having seen the way in which he developed into a consistent front-runner in what was a very strong field, I have absolutely no doubt that he will be one of the drivers to beat as we look to challenge for the championship title.

“Alongside that, we’re also pleased to announce that he will strengthen his ties with our championship winning touring car team, which will include getting behind the wheel of a BTCC car for the first time.

“As someone who clearly has the talent and the desire to compete in touring cars in the future, it will be interesting to see how he compares to the established order when his test takes place.”