Zelos enters new Mini Challenge seasonThursday 28th April 2022
Fresh from his Mini Challenge win in 2021, Dan Zelos has returned to the track in his Davanti-branded JCW, this time with the additional accolade of becoming EXCELR8 Motorsport’s official British Touring Car Championship reserve driver.
The first race of the season kicked off at Donington Park on 23rd April, but it was a rocky start for Zelos due to persistent engine issues, resulting in sixth place for the rising star.
“The EXCELR8 guys and girls worked tirelessly to try to get to the bottom of the issue”.
“We changed the gearbox, turbo, fuel filter, differential, intercooler, boost pipes and sensors – pretty much everything apart from the main engine block itself, which we didn’t have time to replace – but nothing did the trick.
“In a single-spec series in which everybody has identical equipment at their disposal, any disadvantage is magnified, and to make matters worse, Donington is a track where you definitely need good top-end speed – you need that engine grunt to attack and defend. It’s also a local circuit for some of my sponsors, so I’d really wanted to put on a strong show for them and it was so disappointing not to be able to do that.”
Despite the challenging start, Zelos remains positive:
“Focussing on the positives, we came away without any dents or scratches on the car, and the team’s one-two finish in the final race proved that the set-up worked well in the end, so that was encouraging. Some of my main rivals also had a tough time of things at Donington for various reasons, and there’s a very long way to go yet.
“We had a difficult opening weekend last year and still won the title, so I’m not unduly concerned.
“Last season, our years of hard work paid off and we took the title. Now we are back with the same determination and hunger to go and do it all again. We can carry on leading the way with Davanti Tyres and Excelr8 Motorsport.”
Dan will be heading to Brands Hatch for the next Mini Challenge race, taking place 14th-15th May.