Driver Craig Blake believes consistency will be key as his new Celtic Speed Mini Cooper Cup Championship campaign begins this weekend.

Having finished ninth overall and second in the Newcomers Cup last season, Carlisle’s Blake has joined up with Minimax Motorsport ahead of the first round in Knockhill on Sunday.

Indeed, most rounds of this season’s competition will take place at the Fife track, although there will be an away round in Kirkistown, Northern Ireland, on May 25.

Blake, who turns 24 next month, said: “I came through go-karting and switched about three years ago.

“It’s good fun, it’s something different.

"The whole championship system at the lower national levels doesn’t get as much coverage as stuff like Formula 1 and it’s something we are trying to push.

“My first couple of years have been learning years, really. It’s a totally different ball game to karts.”

Races are contested over a weekend, with the Saturday a test day before qualifying and three nine-lap races on the Sunday. Race one’s grid is set by qualifying position while race two is decided by the result of race one and race three is determined by a wildcard – drawn by ballot with anywhere between the top five to eight cars reversed.

“It’s quite mentally challenging. It’s a long season, as well. It’s a 10-round season with three races at each event. Every round counts, so it’s about consistency,” he said.

Blake, a sales executive at Lloyd Carlisle MINI in Kingstown, is friends with Alex MacDowall who races in the European Le Mans Series.