Jamie Tonks will make his debut in the Vertu Motors MINI CHALLENGE later this season after agreeing a deal to join forces with EXCELR8.

Having never previously visited Knockhill, Tonks has elected not to make his debut in the next event on the JCW schedule next month but will contest the final two events of the 2023 campaign at Silverstone and Brands Hatch

A full-season assault on the BTCC support series with EXCELR8 is then planned for next year.

The 39-year-old competed in the Civic Cup with a best result of third in the points in 2021, and then scored multiple top six finishes following his move to TCR UK in 2022 – with a single win at Oulton Park.

Tonks had been set to race in TCR UK again this season, but a change in circumstances led to him re-evaluating his racing plans, exploring a variety of options before putting pen-to-paper on the deal with EXCELR8 following the most recent event on the calendar at Oulton Park.

“I’m really excited about the prospect of joining the Vertu Motors MINI CHALLENGE grid from Silverstone, and the chance to compete in front of the huge BTCC crowds is something I’m really looking forward to,” he said.

“As a driver, the JCW series is a cost-effective option that has a fantastic profile for commercial partners and is known for providing great racing. With some really good drivers on the grid, it will be interesting to see how I measure up.

“These two events are all about track time with an eye on 2024 but having shown I can win in TCR, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t hoping to fight towards the sharp end of the grid.”

EXCELR8 team owner Justina Williams said she was excited to see what Tonks could do at the wheel of the JCW.

“We’re delighted to welcome Jamie into the team for the final two rounds of the season as part of our plans to race together in 2024,” she said.

“Despite his late start to racing, he has produced a number of impressive results whilst competing in some very competitive championships, and we’re confident he will be able to replicate that in the JCW.”