EXCELR8 BTCC Team Partner Tommy Watson at Mairon Freight UK to hit the track in MINI CHALLENGE
Tommy Watson will become the latest driver to make his racing debut in the Vertu MINI CHALLENGE Trophy next season after inking a deal to join the Cooper grid with multiple champions EXCELR8.
Whilst Watson will be appearing on track for the first time, he is no stranger to the Suffolk-based team, with Mairon Freight Management UK – the company he heads in his role as CEO – having been a primary partner on EXCELR8’s British Touring Car Championship programme in recent seasons.
Having initially joined forces via a minor sponsorship agreement, the relationship between sponsor and team has grown to the stage where all four of EXCELR8’s Hyundai BTCC cars have run with prominent Mairon Freight UK branding during the 2023 campaign.
Throughout the partnership to date, self-confessed race fan Watson has been able to get close to the inner workings of the EXCELR8 team in his role as a sponsor, with the opportunity now arising to hit the track himself as part of a multi-car entry into the Cooper class.
As a racing rookie, Watson will aim to benefit from the extensive expertise within the squad to help him get up to speed on track ahead of the opening rounds of the 2024 season, which will take place at Snetterton in mid-April.
A seven-round schedule includes a slot on the BTCC support package at Thruxton, which is the closest circuit to Mairon’s base in Whiteley near Portsmouth.
Tommy Watson said:
“I’ve been part of the EXCELR8 ‘family’ now for four years as a sponsor of Tom Ingram – and more recently as a Team Partner – so 2024 is going to be a little bit different when I get behind the wheel myself! I’ve always loved racing and wanted to see what I could do on the track, so for the opportunity to now come around is just fantastic.
“Being able to do this alongside EXCELR8 has been key, and is what gave me the push I needed to get into a race car myself. I know the challenge that lies ahead and it’s time to get my head down and use the winter period to make sure I’m in the best shape possible to hit the ground running when the season comes around.”
Justina Williams, EXCELR8 Team Owner, said:
“We’ve been able to develop a fantastic working relationship with Tommy and the team at Mairon since they became Team Partners, and it’s going to be interesting to see that relationship go in a different direction in 2024 when he joins our MINI CHALLENGE line-up.
“When it became clear that Tommy wanted to see what he could do on track, we were delighted to be able to put a deal together to allow him to join the Cooper grid and can’t wait to see what he can achieve behind the wheel.”