British racing driver Rebecca Jackson will complete a full season in the 2017 MINI CHALLENGE

After competing in four rounds of the 2016 championship, Rebecca Jackson will return for a full season in the headlining JCW class of the 2017 MINI CHALLENGE. For Jackson, recently announced as a CBBC presenter, the chance to complete an entire season was an opportunity not to be missed.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the MINI events last year,” says Jackson. “Driving a front-engined, front wheel drive car was a significant shift from the GT racing I’ve focussed on up until now but the sprint format is great fun and I just wanted to do more. My preparations are well underway, both on and off track for the season and I can’t wait for the opening round at Oulton Park.”

Jackson has previously raced a Porsche Boxster, a 911 Cup car and in 2016 competed in Reiter Young Stars in a KTM X-Bow GT4, securing third in her class. 2016 also saw Rebecca fulfil her ‘Project Le Mans’ by racing an LMP3 car in the ‘Road to Le Mans’ support race at the iconic Le Mans 24, arguably the most prestigious motorsport event in the world.

The MINI CHALLENGE attracts hugely talented drivers such as current BTCC driver Jeff Smith. The high-profile series is also a solid training ground for younger drivers who have racing in their blood; last year Rebecca shared the grid with Henry Neal, the son of triple BTCC champion Matt Neal, as well as James Turkington who is brother to double BTCC champion Colin Turkington.

“The F56 MINI offers a touring car-like driving experience; over 250bhp, slick tyres and sequential boxes. With such fantastic cars and such a stellar line-up of drivers in the mix it’s going to be very competitive and probably a bit brutal!”.

The JCW Championship class of the MINI CHALLENGE kicks off over the Easter weekend at Oulton Park where, coincidentally, Jackson secured her first-ever podium in the Porsche 924 Championship. This year the MINI CHALLENGE joins the British GT package for the first time. Fans will be able to watch all the season’s races live, for free and in High Definition via Freeview HD, FreeSat, TalkTalk, YouView, BT and Sky’s television services.