Former MINI Challenge champion Ant Whorton-Eales will return to the series for 2020 as it joins the TOCA package to race alongside the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship.
The 25-year-old will join the team that he won the 2016 Renault Clio Cup UK title with, JamSport, for the 2020 season.
Whorton-Eales first appeared in the series in 2011, winning the Cooper Class before making the move into the Renault Clio Cup UK.
In 2017 he moved up into BTCC, taking a best finish of sixth place in the AmD Tuning team’s Audi S3.
JamSport switched to the MINI Challenge in 2018 along with Whorton-Eales. taking the title in their debut year with ten race wins. 2019 brought a new challenge as Whorton-Eales took on a part-campaign in Euro NASCAR.
“Continuing to work with JamSport as a driver mentor and being part of the engineering team last year was great, but I’m a racer and the opportunity to get back behind the wheel full-time in 2020 is something I wasn’t going to turn down.” said Whorton-Eales.
“The fact that the MINI Challenge is now part of the BTCC support package makes a return particularly appealing, because it is no secret that touring cars is where I want to be again in the future. This is the ideal way for both the team and I to show what we are capable of.
“The long-term plans that JamSport have are hugely exciting, and being back on the BTCC package with the MINI Challenge is the next phase of those plans. The only goal is to reclaim the championship that we won together in 2018, and whilst I’m happy for someone else to have it on loan for a year, I’m determined to take it back!”
JamSport team principal Jamie Going added, “From the moment we started working with Ant, we have been a successful partnership and it is fantastic that he will be part of the driver line-up as we return to the BTCC package next season.
“There is no doubt that there will be a lot more interest in the MINI Challenge next year and that the profile of the series is going to be raised, so to have a driver of Ant’s calibre and experience back behind the wheel is hugely important for us.
“Not only is he someone who we know will be a contender for the title, he is also someone who will help to push on and develop the other drivers in our line-up.
“We want to be racing in the BTCC in the future and are actively working towards making the step up to touring cars with Ant. We bring the best out of each other and I’m confident that we can enjoy a strong 2020 season together to take us a step closer to our goal.”