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  • Writer's pictureFred Warner

The Rookie Leads the Championship: Will Orton's Sensational 2023 JCW Mini Challenge Cup Debut

Updated: Jun 20, 2023

Eighteen-year-old racing prodigy Will Orton made an extraordinary debut at the Donington Park Race Circuit during the first weekend of the 2023 JCW Mini Challenge Cup, as part of the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC). Racing for Hybrid Tune, the reigning champions in the JCW Mini Challenge Cup, Orton showcased his talent and determination with a series of impressive performances.

Will Orton on the podium with trophy and champagne at Donington
Will Orton wins at Donington

The race weekend consisted of a qualifying session followed by three intense Mini Challenge races. Despite facing three red flags during qualifying, Orton managed to secure a 5th place position in his first-ever session in the JCW Mini Challenge Cup. In the first race, the young driver exceeded expectations by finishing 4th overall and claiming the highest-placed rookie spot, earning him a coveted rookie podium in his very first Mini racing event.

Orton's outstanding performance at Donington Park not only turned heads on the circuit but also caught the attention of fans and TV coverage presenters alike. His exceptional driving skills and rapid ascent as a rookie garnered praise and admiration from racing enthusiasts and industry insiders.

Orton continued to impress on the second day of racing, finishing 4th overall and securing the first-place rookie spot once again, this time in wet conditions. The race organisers then instituted a reverse grid, allowing Orton to start the third and final race from pole position—an incredible turn of events for his first race weekend in the JCW Mini Challenge Cup.

Not only did Orton start from pole, but he also skilfully navigated the first corner and maintained his lead throughout the race in damp conditions, despite the teams' decision to use slick tyres. It was after this final race that Will's dad, Pete, realised his son had reached the top of the championship leader board—an astonishing accomplishment for the young driver after his first weekend of competition.

Will Orton's JCW Mini on pole at Donington
Will starting on Pole in his first race weekend

The fact that a rookie driver could rise to the top of the leader board in such a short period is a testament to Orton's innate talent and dedication to the sport. His rapid success has undoubtedly captured the attention of the UK motorsport world and generated excitement for what the future may hold.

Orton's parents, Liz and Pete, who have supported Will's racing passion for the past 15 years, were overjoyed at their son's success. The emotional high of the weekend showcased Will's undeniable talent and potential in the world of motorsport.

As the Orton family celebrates Will's incredible debut, they continue to search for potential sponsors interested in sharing the exhilarating experience of a race weekend up close. Sponsors would have the opportunity to see behind the scenes and watch Will give his all from the get-go, while supporting a promising young talent in the process.

Will Orton's stunning performance at Donington Park has undoubtedly made an impact on the racing community, signalling the arrival of a new rising star in the 2023 JCW Mini Challenge Cup. With the support of his family and team, and the potential backing of enthusiastic sponsors, the future looks bright for this talented young driver.

If you would like to join Will’s journey as a partner to Will Orton Racing, click here.

If you want to see a video of this weekends race journey with Will, see below:

Video produced by @stacksfs

Supported by CREATIVE in TiME

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