Zelos overcomes adversity to cut through pack to British top ten

Dan Zelos refused to allow misfortune to get the better of him as the fiercely-contested British Super 1 Series travelled to Larkhall in Scotland, with a gritty effort seeing the talented young Norfolk speed demon battle back brilliantly from an early drama to a top ten finish.

Dan warmed up for the resumption of national hostilities by entering a club meeting at PF International in Lincolnshire in which he pitted himself against a bumper grid of 35 Mini Max class rivals, representing an ultra-competitive mix of national front-runners and local specialists.

Pulling off some supremely incisive overtaking manoeuvres, the highly-rated Dereham-based hotshot made light work of two mid-pack starting positions to annex a brace of eye-catching heat race victories, with a hard-fought tenth place from 19th in heat threelapping significantly faster than the winner along the waysecuring him third on the grid for the all-important final.

With everybody being so closely-matched up at the sharp end, I knew the key would be to never drop out of the leading pack, Dan explained. I felt pretty confident, and although I lost a couple of positions initially, I soon recovered to thirdbut then halfway through, my tyres gripped up, which cost me around half-a-second-a-lap.

That meant that going onto the last lap, I was half the length of the main straight behind the top two, but watching them go into the 90-degree right-hander, I could just tell they were going to make contact. Sure enough, they got tangled together which sent them both wide, and I was able to nip past on the inside and then control everything to the chequered flag. It was my second win in my rookie season in Mini Max, and I was particularly pleased given that we hadnt really had the pace to challenge.

The result ensured that the 14-year-old headed even further north to Larkhall a week later with his tail upand optimistic about his Super 1 prospects whatever the weather. In a wet qualifying session, he swiftly underlined that conviction by lapping consistently and comfortably the quickest in his group aboard his Tooley Motorsport mount, equating to third overall out of the 36 distinctly high-calibre Mini Max contenders and placing him second on the grid for both of his heat raceson the unenviable outside line.

I knew how crucial it would be to get across to the inside before the first corner to avoid losing too much ground at the start, Dan recounted, and in heat one, I only conceded a couple of positions, which wasnt too bad.

The front five of us pulled away from the rest of the pack, and I was gaining on second place when somebody went off ahead and upon rejoining, brought a load of water onto the track from the wet grass, which caused carnage. That left me on my own in second place, after which it was just a case of being careful to avoid the wet patches and controlling my pace to the end of the race.

A solid fifth position in heat twoa mere second adrift of the winner in a tremendously closely-fought encounterearned the Northgate High School pupil fourth on the grid for the pre-final, but barely had the starting lights gone out than he found himself unceremoniously shunted from behind and sent spinning off the track.

Impressively undeterred, from plum last, Dan demonstrated both his scintillating raw speed as well as what might have been by scything his way determinedly back through to 12th by the time the flag fell, and he went on to begin the all-important grand final from the same spot.

I worked my way up to fifth, but unfortunately, a set-up change meant we didnt have the pace to stay with the leaders and I subsequently dropped back a little, he recalled. I was a bit disappointed to finish eighth, but on the positive side, we were less than two seconds away from the winner and it was the best result Ive had in a Super 1 final so far this year and represented decent points towards the championship. The goal, though, remains the podium, and thats what well be aiming for next time out at Wigan. Its definitely getting closer!

If you are interested in getting involved in life in the fast lane by sponsoring Dan, please contact his dad Andy at: andy.zelos@weselltyres.com

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