Zelos left unrewarded after series of unfortunate events at KnockhillMonday 1st August 2022
Despite his finest performance of the season so far, Dan Zelos experienced a disappointing weekend at Knockhill in the latest round of the Mini Challenge following a series of mishaps out of his control.
It was a strong start for Zelos in the qualifying rounds as he nabbed third place, just missing out on the top spot by less than a hundredth of a second.
Going into the first race feeling confident in his Davanti-branded Mini, Zelos was able to secure second place on the seventh lap after having applied pressure to Joe Tanner and overtaking him on the hairpin.
Zelos was then firmly on course to outscore the majority of his championship rivals until a suspension issue forced him out of the race with less than a handful of laps remaining.
He was now set to begin race two in 24th place, so there was a lot of catching up to do.
Determined to claw back his positive start, he gained six spots on the first lap alone, secured 13th place by the end of lap three, and cracked the top ten four laps later. Things were looking strong for Zelos as he came within touching distance of fourth place, however a tyre failure on the second to last lap caused more heartache for former champion.
Back to 24th place on Sunday’s finale, Zelos came back fighting, but trouble occurred from the outset as the race was shortened by two minutes due to a broken down car. When the action finally got underway, Zelos flew up to 17th place, then ninth, until the safety car was re-summoned for another incident. The lengthy clean up meant the race wasn’t able to resume and any hopes of a victory were dashed.
“Talk about ‘everything that could go wrong’! I’ve definitely upset somebody, it seems – Knockhill was a long way to go for a weekend like that! We knew we were in good shape following the pre-event test, so for everything to turn completely on its head in the manner it did, you just couldn’t write it.
“I had a tussle with Tanner early on in race one, and after getting past him, I was sitting comfortably in second until the same problem that had ruled us out of race two at Oulton Park reoccurred and that was that. I was absolutely gutted.
“From there, I had no option but to throw caution to the wind. The car felt mega and I made up places wherever I could in the second race, and I’d just latched onto the back of the battle for fourth when I sensed a vibration in the front-left tyre going through Turn One; by the end of the lap, it was down to the rim so I had to pit.
“I honestly think without that, sixth place could have been on the cards – which would have put us in with a shout of pole position on the reversed grid for race three. As it was, we ended up starting at the rear again and I was lucky not to be taken out on the first lap!
“But, we’ve already put it behind us and are looking ahead to Snetterton. I love racing at my home circuit and with the championship now only a long shot, I’ve got nothing to lose – so I’ll be going in all guns blazing!”
Rounds 12-14 will take place at Snetterton on 12th-14th August.