Dan Zelos has a successful championship opener with a double top at DonningtonMonday 1st May 2023
Simply looking to have an enjoyable opening race weekend after a troublesome 2022 season, Dan Zelos returned to the 2023 Mini Challenge championship strong, claiming new qualifying and race lap records plus two race wins.
From the start of the weekend things looked hopeful for Zelos, setting the fastest time in free practice and achieving pole position in qualifying.
The wins continued in race 1, which he led from start to finish despite early pressure from Sam Smith and a loss of power steering on the last lap. Zelos took a comfortable victory, his first since 2021.
Poor weather conditions meant a wet track for race 2, but that didn’t stop Zelos who again came out on top.
The weekend finale was somewhat more dramatic, preventing Dan from a third consecutive win. With just a few minutes left on the clock and poised for a third straight success, the race came to an abrupt end as Sam Smith lost control and shot across the track towards Zelos at high speed, causing an unclassified result for Dan.
Zelos said: “First and foremost, I hope Sam [Smith] is ok and wish him a speedy recovery. It was a very scary situation that – perhaps fortunately – I had no chance to anticipate.
“Overall, though, it was really good to be back and I was over-the-moon with our results. To be honest, I didn’t have big expectations – I went to Donington with a very open mind and just looking forward to some good racing and good battles – but right from pre-season testing, I felt so much more relaxed and in a really positive headspace.
“It felt great to stand on the top step of the podium – and a new race lap record as well was the icing on the cake. I couldn’t have asked for any more.”
Dan will race again at Brands Hatch for round 2 of the championship on 6th and 7th May. Stay up to date with Dan’s progress on our social channels or on our blog.