Former champion Nathan Harrison will make his return to the Vertu Motors MINI CHALLENGE this weekend at Brands Hatch after signing a late deal to rejoin EXCELR8 Motorsport.

The 27-year-old will compete in the three races around the Grand Prix layout with the team that carried him to the JCW title back in 2020, with his return coming at the same circuit where he secured his championship crown three years ago.

Harrison – who also won the Cooper title back in 2015 – is one of the most successful drivers in MINI CHALLENGE history, with more JCW podiums than anyone else and a win tally that was only beaten earlier this season by Dan Zelos.

The decision to compete at Brands Hatch comes after Harrison spent the 2023 season on the sidelines with no full-time racing programme following a two-year stint in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB.

“After two seasons in the Carrera Cup, we took the decision to sit this year out and evaluate plans for the future, as my ultimate goal is to try and secure a place in the British Touring Car Championship,” he said. “With that in mind, I sat down and spoke with Justina [Williams] and thanks to the support of Executive Alarms, we’ve been able to strike a deal for me to rejoin EXCELR8 for the JCW finale.

“Not only will it provide me with the chance to get back out on track in a front-wheel drive car, it’s also going to give me the opportunity to bring along my sponsors to get a feeling for everything going on around the BTCC paddock as I push towards taking my career to the next level.

“It’s been three years since I raced the JCW car on the weekend I won the 2020 title, and having not raced anything this season, I’m aware that it’s going to be a challenge. However, I love a challenge and it would be great if we could be in the mix to try and bring home a podium finish. I’ve got nothing to lose as I don’t need to worry about points and championships, so can go out there and have some fun.”

Team owner Justina Williams said she was delighted to bring Harrison back for the finale.

“Nathan’s record in the MINI CHALLENGE speaks for itself, and he has been a key part of the success we have enjoyed in the JCWs in the past,” she said.

“To have the chance to welcome him back into the fold this weekend at Brands Hatch is fantastic and even though it’s a while since he has been in the car, I have no doubt he’ll be right on the pace and challenging towards the sharp end of the field.”