Following a dominant run to the Cooper class title last season, Nelson King will make the step up to the headline class of the Vertu Motors MINI CHALLENGE in 2023 after extending his deal with Graves Motorsport.

King stormed to the MINI CHALLENGE Trophy crown in fine style last year after a campaign that saw him take an astonishing eleven race wins – with the youngster only failing to finish on the podium three times across 19 races.

On the back of that success, King will now make the switch into JCWs, with the 20-year-old being the first driver confirmed by Graves for what will be its third season in the class.

King’s JCW debut will come at Donington Park in April, with all seven rounds running alongside the British Touring Car Championship.

“I am delighted to retain my place in the Graves Motorsport line-up and look forward to my third season with the team,” King – who will continue to be backed by BHRV, said. “Coming from a highly successful Cooper campaign last year, I’m looking forward to adapting to the MINI JCW.

“With a great team behind me, we can achieve some strong results.”

Team manager David Graves added that he was thrilled to see King remain with the team for his JCW graduation.

“We are delighted to be continuing to work with Nelson into the 2023 season,” he said. “He really matured in 2022 and wasn’t just quick and consistent, but measured too. He has already started testing in the JCW car and early signs are encouraging.

“As well as Nelson taking more than half the victories in the Trophy series last year, we also experienced significant success with eight wins in the JCW class.

“We’re sure that experience will help Nelson to get up to speed quickly and challenge at the front.”