PerformanceTek Racing will make a return to the Vertu MINI CHALLENGE family following a year away after confirming plans for a multi-car entry into the Cooper category.

The Scottish outfit first joined the grid back in 2019 and would go on to secure the Cooper crown with Dominic Wheatley – who had already taken both Rookie and Graduate Cup honours with the team – in 2021.

Following the conclusion of the 2022 season, team boss Gerry Brady elected to switch focus onto PerformanceTek’s workshop business, with the race team not competing in the Vertu MINI CHALLENGE last year.

However, having been approached by several drivers looking to be part of the grid this season, PerformanceTek will now return to the series alongside an ongoing programme in the Scottish MINI Cooper Cup, with three cars set to line up as part of the field for the opening rounds of the year at Snetterton next month.

“As a team, we enjoyed huge success in our first spell as part of the MINI CHALLENGE, winning the Rookie and Graduate titles in our first two seasons before taking overall honours with Dominic in 2021,” Brady said.

“Sitting out the 2023 season was a difficult decision to make, but we had a lot of work with the garage and restoration business that we needed to focus on. It was always our plan to return to the grid and over the past month or so, it’s become apparent that there is demand from drivers for an experienced team like ours to run their cars.

“I didn’t have to think twice to make a return as the Vertu MINI CHALLENGE Trophy is the best organised and most professional series that we’ve ever been involved in, and we can’t wait for the new season to begin.”

The first driver confirmed in the PerformanceTek line-up is Jamie Keates, who had been due to return with the Mannpower Motorsport team before a change in circumstances saw him switch to the Glasgow-based outfit.

Keates scored a best result of eleventh last season, and has already set his sights on top ten finishes during the year ahead.

“I watched Jamie’s progress throughout the 2023 season and by the end of the year, he was knocking on the door of regular top ten finishes, which is no easy task in a championship as competitive as the MINI CHALLENGE Trophy,” Brady added.

“I’m confident that we can give him a quick and reliable car that will allow him to keep developing his skills on track, and consistently score valuable points.”