Zelos’ winning streak continues in record-breaking weekend at KnockhillThursday 24th August 2023
Dan Zelos took a step closer to securing a second Mini Challenge championship crown at Knockhill, adding two further victories to his tally.
Zelos entered the weekend with a strong previous track record, spurring him on to achieve fastest in free practice and six additional points in qualifying, with prime spot on the starting grid for race one.
The mixed weather cost Zelos a few positions, having dropped down after a textbook getaway and an early advantage. However, he recovered quickly, having fought his way back up to fourth at the chequered flag and achieving the fastest lap, gaining an additional six points.
From starting third on the grid in race two, it was a shaky start as Zelos found himself forced onto the grass, but again he was able to recover and complete an assertive opening lap in the lead. The pressure ramped up as Will Orton went head to head with Zelos, the pair breaking away from the other competitors to race side by side. But Zelos managed to hold his position, winning by barely two-tenths of a second.
The final race was also a success, with a series of fastest laps leading him to another victory three seconds ahead, his 8th win of the season and his 13th outright win in the current JCW car – a new championship record.
“What a weekend! Knockhill is one of my favourite circuits on the MINI Challenge calendar and is always full of surprises, and boy did it provide some entertainment!
“The first race was a bit of a tyre lottery. It was a great scrap, with more than six drivers disputing the win. We didn’t nail the set-up for the changing conditions, which meant we struggled to get the car to turn into the corners on the slippery surface and that restricted us to fourth, but we were closing back in late on and nipped fastest lap for a few vital extra championship points.
“The next one was a proper MINI Challenge race, and the perfect way to respond. It was such a tough fight, but I loved every moment. Will [Orton] was all over me – that was as close as it gets, with even a bit of wing-mirror bashing on the last lap – and to come out on top was really special. Breaking the record for most wins was then the cherry on the cake after a brilliant battle.
“We’ve got a good advantage in the standings now, but we all know how quickly that can change in this championship, so let’s just enjoy the moment and then focus on trying to do the same again in the remaining two events at Silverstone and Brands Hatch.”
Catch Zelos in the next round of the Mini Challenge at Silverstone from 23rd-24th September. Keep up to date with all of the action on our social channels.