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Former champion Nathan Harrison will make his return to the Vertu Motors MINI CHALLENGE this weekend at Brands Hatch after signing an eleventh-hour deal to compete in the 2023 JCW season finale.

The 27-year-old will rejoin the same EXCELR8 Motorsport team that carried him to the JCW title back in 2020, with his return to a JCW machine coming at the same circuit where he secured his championship crown three years ago.

Harrison – who also won the Cooper title back in 2015 – is one of the most successful drivers in MINI CHALLENGE history, with his tally of 41 podiums being the most of any driver to have competed in the current JCW class.

That total includes twelve victories, a tally that was only beaten earlier this season by current points leader Dan Zelos.

Harrison’s return to the series comes at the end of a quiet season on track after his decision not to return to the Porsche Carrera Cup GB following a two-year stint that saw him score multiple Pro-Am class wins, with no full-time racing programme having been put in place for this year.

With his goal being to try and secure a place on the British Touring Car Championship grid in the coming seasons – something which had been in his sights before the impact of the pandemic – Harrison will hope to use the weekend to get back up to speed in front-wheel drive machinery and showcase his talents in front of the BTCC paddock.

Nathan Harrison, #2 EXCELR8 Motorsport MINI JCW, said:
“After two seasons in the Carrera Cup, we took the decision to sit this year out and evaluate plans for the future, as my ultimate goal is to try and secure a place in the British Touring Car Championship. With that in mind, I sat down and spoke with Justina and thanks to the support of Executive Alarms, we’ve been able to strike a deal for me to rejoin EXCELR8 for the JCW finale.

“Not only will it provide me with the chance to get back out on track in a front-wheel drive car, it’s also going to give me the opportunity to bring along my sponsors to get a feeling for everything going on around the BTCC paddock as I push towards taking my career to the next level.

“It’s been three years since I raced the JCW car on the weekend I won the 2020 title, and having not raced anything this season, I’m aware that it’s going to be a challenge. However, I love a challenge and it would be great if we could be in the mix to try and bring home a podium finish. I’ve got nothing to lose as I don’t need to worry about points and championships, so can go out there and have some fun.”

Justina Williams, EXCELR8 Motorsport Team Owner, said:
“Nathan’s record in the MINI CHALLENGE speaks for itself, and he has been a key part of the success we have enjoyed in the JCWs in the past. To have the chance to welcome him back into the fold this weekend at Brands Hatch is fantastic and even though it’s a while since he has been in the car, I have no doubt he’ll be right on the pace and challenging towards the sharp end of the field.”

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