THE long wait was certainly worth it for Nathan Harrison after getting his hands on the MINI Challenge JCW championship trophy.

The driver from Botley had twice come agonisingly close to lifting the crown, in 2016 and 2019.

But the 24-year-old sealed top spot with eighth place in the final race of the season this weekend, at Brands Hatch.

It saw him finish 32 points ahead of nearest challenger Dan Zelos.

He said: “It was a long time coming, but it’s a good feeling for sure.

“I think over the past few years we’ve been close and been unfortunate, but to seal the deal for myself and Team EXCELR8 is a great feeling.”

He added: “Last year there were only a couple of points in it and I think 2016 was two points in it.

“To seal the deal is a weight off my shoulders, for sure.”

There were doubts over whether the series could go ahead due to coronavirus.

But with tweaks to the schedule, races were able to take place behind closed doors.

Harrison, who won three races in the shortened campaign, said: “It’s been such a strange year.

“Things have gone behind closed doors which has been difficult – and to have five rounds and we’re in November, it just doesn’t add up.

“To come back and win it is a great feeling, for sure.

“All credit to the people behind the closed doors that made it possible for me to come and do this job.”