MINI CHALLENGE CLUBSPORT BOOSTED BY NEW PARTNERSHIPS
Organisers of the MINI CHALLENGE CLUBSPORT series have confirmed a number of exciting new partnerships ahead of the opening meeting of the season next month.
The new entry level CLUBSPORT series – which runs as an an affiliate to the hugely successful British Touring Car Championship-supporting JCW and Cooper categories – will kick off at Cadwell Park on the weekend of 15/16 April for the first of six planned race meetings.
Ahead of round one, a number of key partners have been confirmed for 2023, led by AIRTEC Motorsport, which will take on the role of title sponsor.
As part of the new agreement, the MINI CHALLENGE CLUBSPORT will work with AIRTEC on the development of parts for both the R56 and R53 versions of the MINI Cooper, with the company having a presence at events throughout the year.
Garmin UK and Ireland has also signed up an official partner of the series, having given access to its innovative Garmin Catalyst Driving Performance Optimiser.
Developed in the USA, the system includes information on race tracks around the world and can be used by racers as a driver aid to help improve racing lines and find time on track, with a number of units being made available for drivers to make use of.
The system is currently endorsed by Motorsport UK, with MINI CHALLENGE CLUBSPORT being the first series to have an official relationship directly with Garmin.
Finally, Absolute Alignment will attend a number of events to provide support to teams and drivers, offering a full alignment service in the paddock to aid with car set-up.
News of the three partnerships comes as the number of drivers signed up for 2023 continues to rise, with over 25 currently registered and more expected to sign up before the racing action kicks off in Lincolnshire.
“Our aim was always to try and work closely with [promoter] Antony Williams and the MINI CHALLENGE to provide drivers who haven’t quite got the experience or budget to race in the main classes with a way to join the MINI CHALLENGE family,” joint championship co-ordinator Robin Austin said.
“We knew there was a lot of interest from people who wanted to come together to race their cars, and we’re delighted with the numbers so far, which are probably ahead of what we expected at this stage.
“There is no doubt that the partnerships we have been able to put in place with AIRTEC, Garmin and Absolute Alignment have had a part to play, because all three deals have been done to benefit our drivers and give them something extra that they wouldn’t have elsewhere.
“Having previously raced with the MINI CHALLENGE myself, I’ve seen first hand all the hard work that Antony has put in to create such a high-profile series, and to make it the success it is today. I’m proud of the start we have made to follow their lead.”
Ahead of the opening weekend of competition, revisions have been made to the calendar, with a planned round at Brands Hatch as part of the annual Mini Festival event being replaced by a visit to Snetterton in mid-August.
Running alongside the Britcar series, the Snetterton weekend will join meetings at Thruxton, Silverstone and Donington Park in benefitting from live streaming on the British Automobile Racing Club’s popular YouTube channel.
Revised MINI CHALLENGE CLUBSPORT calendar:
15/16 April – Cadwell Park – 3 x 12min
20/21 May – Mallory Park – 2 x 15min
8/9 July – Thruxton – 2 x 15min
19/20 August – Snetterton – 3 x 15min
16/17 September – Silverstone National – 3 x 12min
14/15 October – Donington Park GP – 2 x 15min