Former champion Ant Whorton-Eales will make a surprise return to the Vertu MINI CHALLENGE grid this weekend at Donington Park after a last-minute call-up to the JamSport line-up.

Whorton-Eales first competed in the series back in 2018 with JamSport and would secure the title in his fine style after a dominant campaign that included ten victories – win a run of seven-in-a-row in the latter part of the year.

In total, Whorton-Eales holds a JCW win record of more than 40% – the highest figure amongst those drivers to have competed in the class since the current car was introduced back in 2015.

The signing of Whorton-Eales for the opening three races of the campaign means the JamSport entry into round one will be five-strong, with the 29-year-old joining previously announced second-year racer Marlo Cordell as well as Directors Cup entrant James Griffith.

Griffith, who has worked alongside both Whorton-Eales and the team in the past, swaps over from Graves Motorsport after it elected to focus on the Cooper class.

The trio are joined by two cars in the new JCW Sport category, where Ben Crossley – who confirmed his entry last month – is joined by Dylan Hotchin, who makes the move into tin top competition having raced last season in GB4.

“It was a last minute call and it’s been a long time since I have competed in MINI CHALLENGE, but I am confident I can get my eye in throughout qualifying in the morning,” Whorton-Eales said.

“Thank you to everyone who has made this happen. Lets get those elbows out in the races and put on a good show!”