Dominic Wheatley will return to the JCW category of the Vertu MINI CHALLENGE for a third successive season after the former Cooper champion was confirmed with EXCELR8 for 2024.

Wheatley becomes the latest driver confirmed as part of EXCELR8’s assault on the upcoming season alongside rookie Max Hall and returnee Josh Porter – who will head into his second year in the class.

During a successful spell in the Cooper class, Wheatley was a consistent front-runner before taking the title in 2021 before moving into JCWs the following season.

A two-year stint with Graves Motorsport saw Wheatley score a brace of podium finishes en-route to a best championship finish of ninth, whilst he finished second in the Graduate Cup last year.

“I’m really excited to be joining forces with EXCELR8 for the new season, and I feel better prepared than ever before to try and challenge for the JCW title,” he said. “The team has been so successful in the series in the past, and given the race wins and championship victories that they have taken, I know they can give me everything that I need to achieve my goals this year.

“When I first joined the JCW grid, I always said that the first year was all about learning the car and then year two would be chasing podiums, and year three would be pushing for wins. That means I’m where I hoped to be going into 2024, and I know that there could have been more silverware last season with a bit more luck on my side.

“With two years under my belt, I’m aiming to regularly push for podium places, and try to fight for the title.”

Team owner Justina Williams said she was delighted to bring Wheatley into the line-up for 2024.

“Dominic is a driver who has proven to be stiff competition for us for a number of seasons, and we’re delighted that we now have the chance to welcome him into the team for 2024,” she said.

“From the moment he first joined the Cooper grid, he showed himself to be a very quick driver, and his title win was particularly impressive considering that it came in a season where the field was particularly strong.

“Since moving into the JCWs, he has shown that he is more than capable of running at the front at a higher level and he is a driver who will only strengthen our line-up during the year ahead. We’re confident that we can have a very successful season together.”

Elsewhere in the EXCELR8 line-up, both Ben Taylor and Gabe Fairbrother have signed up to compete for a second season in the Cooper category.