MINIs an excellent addition, says ITV's Paul O'Neill

ITV commentator and former BTCC driver Paul O'Neill thinks the MINI Challenge will be an excellent addition to the TOCA package when it arrives in 2020.

Paul O'Neill battles Jordan Collard in the Mini Challenge
Paul O'Neill battles Jordan Collard in the Mini Challenge Credit: Mini Challenge

O'Neill raced in the series as a guest driver when it visited his local circuit Oulton Park in 2018, and loved the experience.

"It was fantastic," says O'Neill. "The car is one of the most challenging things I've ever driven, and the competition is fierce.

"It's brilliant news for the TOCA package to be hosting such a competitive and high profile series... and vice versa.

"I'm sure it will wow the crowds as the see these stiffly sprung machines hop, skip and jump around the UK's best circuits.

Paul O'Neill
Credit: Mini Challenge

O'Neill also believes it will not only help drivers learn the skills needed to race in the BTCC, but also teams and mechanics.

This year sees Exceler8 Motorsport, which finished second in last year's MINI Challenge, graduate to the BTCC. "It's a massive coup for this newbie team to use this series as a springboard for future stars," added O'Neill.