AFTER Scorton’s Max Coates unveiled his challenger for the 2021 Mini Challenge at Croft Circuit last week, another local young star will join him with the news that Northallerton’s Ethan Hammerton will also contest the series after joining forces with title-winning EXCELR8 Motorsport for his second year in the series.

The 20-year-old made the step into the Mini Challenge class 12 months ago, having previously gained a wealth of experience in tin-top racing despite his relatively young age. A vice-champion in both the Junior Saloon Car Championship and the Renault Clio Cup Junior series after first making the move into car racing, Ethan went on to secure podium finishes in the VW Racing Cup and was a race winner in the Renault Clio Cup during the 2019 campaign.

In the midst of that, he also became the third youngest driver in the 60-year history to compete in the prestigious British Touring Car Championship after joining the grid for the final two rounds of the season in 2018 aged just 17.

Ethan’s 2020 season saw him compete in the opening three meetings of the Mini Challenge season, before he was given the chance to return to the BTCC grid for the final two events of the year at Snetterton and Brands Hatch; competing for the Trade Price Cars Racing team that has now partnered with EXCELR8 Motorsport for 2021.

Returning to the Mini Challenge grid this year, Ethan will seek to regularly fight towards the front of the grid during the year ahead, with his focus on battling for silverware over the course of the 19-race season which commences at Snetterton next weekend.

  • Meanwhile, Mickleton driver Alistair Hutchinson and Staindrop co-driver St. John Dykes were in good form when they took their Renault Clio to third place on the John Overend Memorial Rally at Melbourne near York on Sunday. Guisborough taxidermist Dave Hornbrook and co-driver Ann Forster brought their Mitsubishi Lancer home in fourth overall with Brompton’s Darren Grimston and co-driver Richard Ross claiming 13th on their debut in the Electrocare-backed Ford Escort Mk2.
  • Local drivers were well to the fore at Croft Circuit last weekend when nearly 300 competitors converged on the North Yorkshire track for a weekend of 750 Motor Club action. In the RLM Bikesports Championship, York’s Joe Stables took a win on Saturday in his Radical PR6. Richmond driver Tim Probert posted a podium finish of third in Saturday’s Formula Vee Championship race in his 1300cc Storm but fancied runner, Simon Walker-Hansell from Middlesbrough, could only manage a best placing of fourth in the Locost Championship at his local track.
  • In the 5Club MX-5 Cup, no less than eight local drivers were on the 40-car grid for three races over the weekend and saw Ripon’s Stephen Craggs posted a best result of ninth. Stephen Robinson from Yarm scored a 14th place with fellow Yarm drivers James McCann finishing in a best placing of 19th, Chris Pearson who took a 20th and Stephen Reed who claimed a 22nd placing. Andrew Robinson from Guisborough took 27th in the final race whilst Potto’s Stephen Horner finished Saturday’s race in 32nd before being ruled out of the rest of the weekend action. Chris Gray from Ripon scored a best result of 28th in the final race too.
  • Stockton driver Daniel Larner posted a best result of sixth in his Mittell MC-52B in the Sports 1000 Championship race whilst a capacity 45 cars took to the grid for the two-hour Club Enduro Championship race on Sunday which saw Consett’s Alan Henderson claim 41st place in his Lotus Elise.