Organisers of the Vertu MINI CHALLENGE can today confirm more details on the new JCW Sport class that will debut next season, with entries having now opened for 2024 for both the new category and the headline JCW class.

The JCW Sport category will run alongside the headline JCW class at seven British Touring Car Championship rounds, and has been introduced to act as a stepping stone for drivers looking to graduate from the entry-level Cooper grid.

As with the JCW class, JCW Sport cars will be based on the F56 variant of the MINI Hatch and although visually similar, will feature several revisions under the skin designed to reduce costs whilst maintaining the all-action racing for which the MINI CHALLENGE is so well known.

JCW Sport cars will run with slightly lower levels of power from a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine, which is expected to deliver around 225bhp compared to a target of 255bhp for JCW machines.

Cars will also be fitted with genuine OE H-pattern six-speed gearboxes as opposed to the bespoke sequential unit provided by Quaife in the JCW class, whilst there will be tighter restrictions on the use of tyres and control parts; again to reduce the budgets required to compete.

Whilst teams and drivers will be able to build new JCW Sport cars from scratch if they wish, existing JCW cars available in the marketplace can be down-specced to meet the required specifications, thereby removing the need to invest in a brand-new car to compete in the class.

Cars can then be converted back to full JCW specification should a driver wish to move up a level in future.

Entry costs for both the season, and for any drivers electing to contest selected events, will also be reduced for the JCW Sport class.

With several drivers and teams having expressed an interest in JCW Sport, entries for the new season are now open alongside those for drivers wishing to compete in the main JCW category with a range of early bird discounts in place for those who register and make a first stage payment before 8 December 2023.

Additional loyalty discounts are available to previous MINI CHALLENGE competitors, as has been the case for a number of seasons.

“We’ve had a lot of interest in JCW Sport both from drivers who have been competing in the Cooper class but haven’t had the budget to move straight up into JCWs, and also from drivers who have been competing elsewhere,” Vertu MINI CHALLENGE Championship Director Antony Williams said.

“We’re pleased to now be able to release more information about the specification of the car, which we are confident will provide fantastic racing on track when the 2024 season rolls around.

“With a lot of people also interested in being part of the main JCW grid, we are looking forward to a strong season for the MINI CHALLENGE in 2024 and would urge anyone looking to compete to register their interest to fully benefit from the early bird discounts in place.”

Specification for both the JCW and JCW Sport classes can be found HERE

Entries for the JCW class can be made by clicking HERE

Entries for the JCW Sport class can be made by clicking HERE

Entries for the Cooper class, which will include three rounds on the TOCA package, will open later this month.