The Mini Challenge has agreed a multi-year deal to replace the scrapped Renault UK Clio Cup on the British Touring Car Championship support bill from 2020.
Renault announced last month that it had decided not to continue with the UK Clio Cup, vacating a slot on the BTCC support ladder - which is popular in part due to the tin-top series' extensive ITV4 TV deal.
BTCC organiser TOCA searched for a direct replacement for the Clio Cup to ensure a suitable tin-top feeder series continues to form part of the undercard.
The new deal secures two Mini races at all 10 scheduled BTCC rounds. The top-flight two-litre turbocharged 265bhp JCW Challenge cars will get the lion's share of the fixtures with eight appearances, but the lesser-powered 1.6-litre Cooper Class will join the bill for two rounds.
"The deal to join the TOCA package represents one of the biggest moments in the history of the Mini Challenge and it's certainly something we've been working very hard towards over the last few seasons," said Mini Challenge promoter Antony Williams.
"The JCW is now a proven, purpose-built race car and driver feedback has suggested that it is the closest thing out there to the thrill of driving a full NGTC touring car, making the Challenge an ideal feeder category for the BTCC."
The JCW Challenge has supported the British GT Championship for the last two seasons, and a string of past and current BTCC drivers - such as Rob Collard, Paul O'Neill and Matt Neal - have contested rounds in recent years.
A number of BTCC teams have also branched out into the category, including Team Dynamics, Power Maxed Racing and former BTCC squad Eurotech Racing.
BTCC chief Alan Gow added: "Recent years have certainly shown that the Mini Challenge is an ideal feeder category for drivers aspiring toward a career in the BTCC and I'm sure the championship will be an excellent fit within our 2020 weekends and beyond."
Williams added his organisation was working towards implementing a discounted entry-fee scheme for any drivers competing in 2019 that wish to make the jump across to the TOCA package for '20.
Renault hasn't ruled out UK 'activities'
Renault is already assessing different options for future motorsport activity in the UK after its decision to axe the Clio Cup.
Although the decision will initially mean operations are scaled back, Renault Sport Racing sporting manager Tarik Ait Said told Autosport talks about future projects have already begun.
"In the UK the decision has been taken that it would be best to not to continue [the Clio Cup] for 2020," he said.
"It doesn't mean there won't be any motorsport activities in the UK forever. But we had to consider how it would be in 2020.
"We're already working with Renault UK about other things to do.
"Renault UK has a lot of activity around Formula 1 and there are other activities that may come in 2020 or '21. We've just started looking at different options."
Autosport has produced a standalone special magazine to celebrate our 70th birthday. All current print subscribers will receive a copy for free. To order your copy of the 196-page Autosport 70th Anniversary issue, please go to: autosport.com/autosport70th