JAMIE TONKS TO JOIN VERTU MOTORS MINI CHALLENGE GRID WITH EXCELR8
TCR UK race winner Jamie Tonks will make his debut in the Vertu Motors MINI CHALLENGE later this season after agreeing a deal to join forces with multiple champions EXCELR8.
Tonks will join the grid at Silverstone in late September and will also contest the season finale on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix layout two weeks later ahead of a planned full-season entry into the BTCC support series in 2024.
A latecomer to racing, 39-year-old Tonks made his on-track debut in the 2020 Civic Cup and finished sixth in the standings before an impressive 2021 campaign saw him secure third in the points – scoring a maiden race win at Anglesey and taking to the podium eight times.
Graduating into TCR UK for the first time in 2022, Tonks produced a number of impressive drives despite being at the wheel of an older Cupra TCR model, picking up a race win at Oulton Park and multiple top-six finishes.
Tonks had originally planned to return to the TCR grid again this season, but a change in circumstances led to him re-evaluating his racing plans, exploring a variety of options before putting pen-to-paper on the deal with EXCELR8 following the most recent event on the calendar at Oulton Park.
The decision to contest the final two meetings comes with Tonks having never previously raced at Knockhill – where the JCW field races next in August – and will give him the opportunity to test the car ahead of his series debut.
Jamie Tonks said:
“I’m really excited about the prospect of joining the Vertu Motors MINI CHALLENGE grid from Silverstone, and the chance to compete in front of the huge BTCC crowds is something I’m really looking forward to.
“As a driver, the JCW series is a cost-effective option that has a fantastic profile for commercial partners, and is known for providing great racing. With some really good drivers on the grid, it will be interesting to see how I measure up.
“These two events are all about track time with an eye on 2024 but having shown I can win in TCR, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t hoping to fight towards the sharp end of the grid.”
Justina Williams, EXCELR8 Team Owner, said:
“We’re delighted to welcome Jamie into the team for the final two rounds of the season as part of our plans to race together in 2024. Despite his late start to racing, he has produced a number of impressive results whilst competing in some very competitive championships, and we’re confident he will be able to replicate that in the JCW.”