NAPA RACING UK ANNOUNCES MULTI-CAR MINI CHALLENGE PROGRAMME
NAPA Racing UK will make its debut in the Vertu Motors MINI CHALLENGE this season after confirming plans for a four-car entry spread across the JCW and Cooper classes.
The team – run by front-running British Touring Car Championship outfit Motorbase Performance – will field two cars in each class as part of an expansive 2023 programme that will also see the NAPA Racing name appear in the Porsche Carrera Cup and the British Truck Racing Championship.
NAPA Racing’s BTCC programme has also been expanded from two cars to four for the season ahead.
The entry into the JCW category will be led by Jamie Osborne, who returns for a second season in the series after making his debut last year with JW Bird Motorsport.
Osborne scored four Rookie Cup podiums over the course of the campaign with a single-class win at Donington Park, where he also scored his best overall finish of ninth place.
The teenager will hope to improve on those results during the year ahead whilst also fighting for Graduate Cup honours, with Lewis Selby joining him in the second car as he makes his debut in the series.
The 42-year-old joins the grid having previously competed in the likes of the Mini Miglia Championship and the Mini Se7en Challenge – where he twice finished inside the top three in the standings.
The two Coopers in the MINI CHALLENGE Trophy will be driven by youngsters Cameron Richardson and Callum Eason; the latter following in the footsteps of parents Wayne and Joanne, both of whom have enjoyed their own on-track careers.
They will make their MINI CHALLENGE debuts in the Cooper class opener at Brands Hatch over the Easter weekend, with the JCW campaign kicking off later in April at Donington Park.
“The announcement that we were expanding the BTCC side of the NAPA Racing stable was awesome, but to now extend the team further in this way is fantastic,” team principal Pete Osborne said.
“To expand into the MINI CHALLENGE – as well as the Porsche Carrera Cup and British Truck Championship – with the talent and characters involved is the icing on the cake.
“Our MINI drivers are a mixture of young, up-and-coming talent and experience. In the JCW, Jamie has a point to prove going into his second season and then we have Lewis coming in with his experience for his debut. Cameron and Callum in the two Coopers are great young prospects, and I’m looking forward to seeing their progress not only this year, but also in seasons to come.
“It’s exciting to be involved in helping young talent into motorsport and we’ve been working on building an academy to help young drivers to realise their potential. This is another big step forward in that area.”
That view was echoed by NAPA Racing UK group marketing manager Adam McNaney.
“I’m delighted we’ve finally been able to reveal our full blueprint for 2023 and NAPA Racing UK,” he said.
“For our drivers, there is now a clear pathway of development from the MINI CHALLENGE right through to British Touring Cars, something we hope will provide a talent pool for both the drivers of today and tomorrow.
“We hope to build a lasting legacy and this is just the start of what we hope to achieve.”