One lucky person will win the chance to compete in the 2024 Vertu Motors MINI CHALLENGE after series organisers today announced the launch of a new Scholarship programme with a top prize worth in excess of £50,000.

The overall winner will secure a package that includes an entry, car hire, fuel and tyres in order to compete in an all-new class being introduced into the MINI CHALLENGE next season.

That new class, further details of which will be revealed in the coming months, will feature cars producing around 225hp and will run alongside the headline JCW category at seven rounds of the prestigious British Touring Car Championship.

Additional prizes will be handed out to drivers who make it through the final with a 25% reduction in entry fees should they join the grid for 2024 – worth in the region of £4,000 per driver.

Combined, that means a total potential prize fund across the scholarship of more than £100,000.

Entry into Stage 1 of the MINI CHALLENGE Scholarship will cost £225*, and will see competitors head for Capital Karts in Canary Wharf, London on 30 October to showcase their skills around the fastest indoor kart circuit in the UK.

On-track performance will only be one of the things taken into consideration however, with entrants set to undergo a mock interview to see how they deal with the pressures of being quizzed by the press, and take part in a pit stop challenge to see how well they are able to work as part of a team.

Social media expertise will be taken into account given the importance of the various platforms to the promotional side of racing, whilst competitors will have the opportunity to see how they compare to their rivals in a special online activity using the latest high-tech simulators provided by Puresims – the company operated by multiple BTCC champion Ash Sutton.

Once Stage 1 is complete, those chosen to progress will travel to Croft in North Yorkshire early next year for Stage 2, where they will take to the circuit alongside a trained instructor to see if their karting skills can translate into a car**.

As in the opening phase of the competition, on-track performance will only be one thing taken into consideration as entrants undergo a range of additional activities – with reaction tests on BATAK machines and a special quiz that will enable competitors to show their knowledge and what they have been able to learn.

The top 20 performers from Stage 2 will then go through to the Grand Final to determine who secures the ultimate prize, and the chance to join the MINI CHALLENGE grid.

Entry to the Vertu Motors MINI CHALLENGE Scholarship is open to drivers who will be aged at least 16 on 1 March 2024, with entries closing on 16 October ahead of Stage 1 later that month.

To enter, and for full terms and conditions, click HERE.

Antony Williams, Vertu Motors MINI CHALLENGE Championship Promoter, said:
“For more than 20 years, the MINI CHALLENGE has been a ‘go-to’ series for people looking to make it in the motorsport world and we are hugely proud of the way in which we have grown to become one of the best one-make championships in the UK competing on the biggest stage in British Motorsport.

“We are beyond excited to be in a position where we can now launch the MINI CHALLENGE Scholarship for 2024, which will open the door for new talent to join our grid and experience everything we have to offer as a championship – with packed grids and all-action racing throughout the season.

“This initiative is something we have considered for a while, but with the launch of a new class coming for next season, this seemed like the perfect time to make the plans become reality. We look forward to unearthing some new talent, and giving them the chance to show what they can do on track.”

* Additional fee required for Stages 2 & 3
** Insurance available to purchase in the event of any incidents.