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Rising star Max Hall will make a full-time move into the headline class of the Vertu MINI CHALLENGE in 2024 after inking a deal to join forces with defending champions EXCELR8.

The talented teenager stepped up into the MINI CHALLENGE’s Cooper class last season as the winner of the Junior Saloon Car Championship, securing multiple overall race wins and scoring pole position at Thruxton – the fastest circuit in the UK.

Max would end the season in style at Brands Hatch with another pole position and a hat-trick of second-place finishes, one of which came after he had crossed the line first, giving him an impressive six podium finishes from the 20 race season – the joint-highest total amongst the rookie drivers.

It would leave him seventh in the overall championship standings, and second in the Rookie Cup.

Alongside his successful Cooper programme, Max also made his debut in the JCW class when he joined forces with EXCELR8 for the 2023 season finale on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit.

Despite severely limited track time prior to qualifying, the talented teenager put his car 14th on the grid and would recover from an unfortunate DNF in race two to battle his way through the pack to take a top ten finish in the final race of the campaign.

Given the success of that one-off appearance, Max will now seek to translate his strong form from the Coopers into a full season of JCW competition when the new season kicks off at Donington Park in late April.

Prior to that, Max will spend time on track with EXCELR8 British Touring Car Championship racer Ronan Pearson, providing the youngster with the chance to benefit from Ronan’s vast experience in the JCW car – which includes multiple wins en-route to a top four championship finish in his final year before graduating into the BTCC.

Max Hall, EXCELR8 MINI CHALLENGE driver, said:

“It’s so exciting to know that I’ll be part of the JCW grid on full-time basis after a successful one-off appearance at Brands Hatch. Considering I went into that weekend with no testing, scoring a top-ten finish was absolutely amazing, and it only left me more determined to try and make the step up in 2024.

“EXCELR8 is a team I have always wanted to work with and having had a brief opportunity to be part of the line-up at Brands Hatch, I can’t wait to see what we can achieve together this season.

“I’m aware that it’s a big step up from the Cooper, but I feel confident that I’m with the best team to help me work towards my goal of challenging for race wins and pushing for the championship title.”

Ronan Pearson, EXCELR8 BTCC driver, said:

“Max showed strong pace throughout his rookie year in the Coopers, and his performance when he joined the JCW grid was particularly impressive given the limited time he had in the car beforehand.

“It’s a big step up for any driver, never mind someone with his level of experience, and I’m looking forward to working with him over the coming months to help him prepare for 2024. I’m sure that he’ll be one to watch throughout the season and is more than capable of challenging for some front-running results.”

Justina Williams, EXCELR8 Team Owner, said:

“We knew Max was a quick driver from his performances in the Cooper class this year, but the way he adapted to the JCW car was hugely impressive for someone so young. It was a big step to make and when you consider the rest of the field had been racing the cars all season, for him to score a top-ten finish showed his potential.

“We’re delighted to have been able to now sign Max up for a full season in 2024 and with the chance to get some testing under his belt over the winter and gain more experience behind the wheel, I have no doubt he can make an impression on the JCW field this year.”

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