Double Knockhill podium vaults Dan Zelos to within two points of championship lead

Double Knockhill podium vaults Dan Zelos to within two points of championship lead

01.09.2020: • Talented East Anglian ace endorses title credentials north of the border • Podium double for new EXCELR8 Motorsport BTCC Development Driver • BRDC Rising Star opens up commanding advantage in Graduate Class


•    Talented East Anglian ace endorses title credentials north of the border


•    Podium double for new EXCELR8 Motorsport BTCC Development Driver


•    BRDC Rising Star opens up commanding advantage in Graduate Class





Dan Zelos has closed to within just two points of the championship lead in the fiercely-contested MINI CHALLENGE, after battling his way to a brace of hard-fought podium finishes at Knockhill on the same weekend that he was unveiled as the first member of EXCELR8 Motorsport’s new British Touring Car Championship Driver Development Academy.
 


Despite lacking seat time around the tight-and-twisty, undulating Fife circuit – having not driven there since 2015 – the talented young Norfolk ace was on the leading pace from the outset in qualifying. After topping the timesheets for a while behind the wheel of his distinctive, Davanti Tyres and CAM Systems-sponsored MINI, Zelos ultimately wound up fourth amongst the 28 high-calibre protagonists in the headlining JCW class – less than five hundredths-of-a-second shy of pole position and a scant eight thousandths away from the front row of the grid.
 


The British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) Rising Star found himself caught out by dirt off-line at the start of race one, which dropped him to seventh, but he quickly set about regaining ground and was soon back up to fifth, right in the mix for the rostrum. Unfortunately, after twice being edged onto the grass, he was then tagged from behind at the hairpin, with the combined contact relegating him to a disappointed eighth in the final reckoning.
 


Channelling that frustration, Zelos immediately went on the attack in race two. After grabbing one place off the line, he settled into a multi-car scrap for second and by mid-distance, he had worked his way up to fourth. The 22-year-old subsequently pressurised Ant Whorton-Eales into a mistake to pinch third, and thereafter hassled Jack Davidson all the way to the chequered flag, rarely more than half-a-second adrift of the local specialist in a characteristically fast and feisty performance that yielded his second podium finish of the 2020 campaign.
 


From seventh on the partially reversed grid for Sunday’s finale – and in front of the live ITV2 television cameras – Zelos placed his car perfectly through the opening corners to steal sixth position before producing a superb pass to snatch fifth next time around. By lap ten, he was fourth following another peach of an overtaking move, after which, the highly-rated Dereham-based hotshot swiftly joined the duel for second.
 


Leaving his braking as late as he dared into the hairpin, he very nearly got two for the price of one with a hugely ballsy move around the outside, only to find himself pushed onto the gravel on the exit, demoting him to fifth. Undeterred, Zelos rapidly regrouped and went on to hunt down and overhaul Scottish duo Ronan Pearson and Robbie Dalgleish in quick succession to seal back-to-back rostrums and his third Graduate Class triumph of the season.
 


The result elevated the reigning MINI CHALLENGE ‘Rookie Cup’ Champion from fourth to second in the overall standings, narrowing the deficit to the top of the table from 21 points to just two as he continues to spearhead the EXCELR8 Motorsport charge in the single-make BTCC support series. Moreover, Zelos now holds a commanding 46-point advantage in the Graduate Class, and next up in four weeks’ time (26/27 September), it’s Silverstone – a circuit at which he has invariably shone.
 


“I actually surprised myself with how fast we were out-of-the-box,” reflected the former Norwich University of Arts and Dereham Sixth Form College student. “Both free practice sessions were punctuated by lots of red flags, which made it impossible to settle into a rhythm – and with a lot of the other drivers having tested there during the week before, that was obviously far from ideal. The delays ate into our race preparation time and made it very difficult to establish a set-up, and if I’m being honest, I felt pretty unprepared going into qualifying.
 


“The car felt really good, though, and if I’d managed to hook each of my quickest sectors together – always a challenge at Knockhill with so much traffic on-track – I’d have been on pole position, which was a real confidence boost. Unfortunately, I got held up at the final hairpin on my best lap, which killed my momentum up the start/finish straight, but fourth still put me ahead of all my main title rivals.
 


“I got a good launch off the line in race one, but I couldn’t get across to the inside and going through the first corner, it was very dusty on the outside, which sent me on a little detour down an escape road and across the grass. That was then compounded by the fact that our tyre pressures were a little bit too high for the track temperature, which overheated the fronts and in a front wheel-drive car, that’s the last thing you want!
 


“I also had a couple of side-by-side impacts with Whorton-Eales, who defended really hard, and I got hit at the hairpin by Jason Lockwood when he out-braked himself. The car came home looking quite battered and bruised after all that, but we still took away a top eight finish, which represented valuable points.
 


“We made some set-up changes ahead of race two, which completely transformed my MINI and I was able to pick people off one by one and capitalise upon other drivers’ errors. I could perhaps have taken a shot at Davidson towards the end, but overtaking at Knockhill carries an extra element of risk compared to most circuits and with the championship on my mind and all my key competitors behind me, it would have been foolish to potentially throw away a safe third place.
 


“I knew it would be important to keep a cool head in race three and seize opportunities when they presented themselves, but my move for second unfortunately didn’t quite come off; I was able to brake a lot later around the outside of the hairpin and had just nosed in front on the exit when I received a big shove from the side, which put me onto the gravel. That meant I had to do it all over again, but I tried a different approach and to take another podium was great.
 


“We left Knockhill in a very strong position in the championship, and now we go to three tracks I have much more experience of. I’ve always been quick at Silverstone – in Ginetta Juniors, Clios and MINIs – so hopefully I can pull a few old tricks out from up my sleeve and really make that experience count.”




Dan is seeking further partners to join him on his exciting high-speed journey. If you are interested in getting involved in life in the fast lane, please contact: dan@danzelos.com


 



Russell Atkins - photos Jakob Ebrey

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/knockhill-podium-dan-zelos-two-points-btcc-development-driver---211766.html

01.09.2020 / MaP

More News

Audi Sport Seyffarth R8 LMS Cup - Maximilian Paul is the man to beat
31.08.2020
After Tim Reiter had won both races at the season opener of the Audi Sport Seyffarth R8 LMS Cup, Maximilian Paul who returned to the one-make cup was unbeatable on the second weekend in the Czech Republic. In the first sprint race on more >>
Team performance for BMW Team Italia in Imola
31.08.2020
A fourth place overall and a third in GT4 are the haul of the weekend in Imola at the second round of the Italian GT Championship Endurance 2020.After the great start in Mugello, the Italian team defined a stellar drivers lineup for the #7 BMW M6 GT3 car w more >>
3-point gap to fill for Riccardo Agostini and Daniel Mancinelli from the top of the Italian GT Endurance tables after Imola
31.08.2020
At the Santerno venue the Audi Sport Italia pair, this time out driving alongside former GT champ Vito Postiglione, finished in seventh place a difficult race due to handicap time to be served and track performance below par Audi Sport Italia had more >>
Pandemic forces temporary halt to Aleksander Schjerpen’s 2020 Campaign
27.08.2020
One of Norway’s leading GT drivers, Aleksander Schjerpen, has been forced to place his 2020 season temporarily on hold for now due to the ever evolving landscape around the ongoing global pandemic.  Ha more >>
Mercedes AMG Customer racing teams success around the world
26.08.2020
Class victories in the International GT Open: In the second round of the International GT Open at Circuit Paul Ricard, the Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing teams chalked up no fewer than three class victories. Jens Liebhauser and Florian Scholze (both GER) in the number 44 Mercedes-AMG GT3 of GetSpeed Performance secured their third AM class victory in a row in Saturday's 70 minute more >>
Abbie Eaton makes successful return to Mazda MX-5 Supercup with Clapham North
26.08.2020
Abbie Eaton made a successful return to the Mazda MX-5 SuperCup with Clapham North at Donington Park last weekend, securing two fourth-place finishes for the Rob Boston Racing-run entry. Standing in for the absent George Grant at round two of the 20 more >>
Double delight for Richardson Racing at Oulton Park
26.08.2020
 The Richardson Racing team enjoyed a fine weekend on track as the Michelin Ginetta GT5 Challenge returned to Oulton Park for the second round of the season, with a pair of wins from the two races.Having secured a victory at the Cheshire circuit duri more >>
Riccardo Agostini heads to Imola aiming to defend the Italian GT Endurance Championship lead
25.08.2020
AFTER DOMINATING AT THE MUGELLO OPENER THE ITALIAN RACER IS SET FOR THE SECOND ROUND OF THE SERIES ALONGSIDE A NEW PAIR OF DRIVERS                Riccardo Agostini is set for the second of f more >>
Class victory for SPS Automotive Performance on guest appearance in the GT Open
24.08.2020
SPS automotive performance ended its guest appearance in the International GT Open at Circuit Paul Ricard with one class victory and a fourth place in the AM class. Christian Hook and Valentin Pierburg (both GER) in the #20 Mercedes-AMG GT3 came up just a few tenths of a second short in the first qualifying and race one, and eventually came home in twelfth place overall following a spin. more >>
First victory for Audi privateer team in GT Open
24.08.2020
Daniel Díaz-Varela and Manel Cerqueda in the Audi R8 LMS GT4 celebrated their first victory in the GT Cup Open racing series in an exciting race. At the second round at Le Castellet, Manel Cerqueda from Andorra secured first place on the grid more >>
Three podiums for Audi at Slovakiaring
24.08.2020
Team Duck Racing v ACR won three trophies with the Audi R8 LMS in the second round of the Eset V4 Cup in the Slovak Republic. In the one-hour endurance race, the Czech Daniel Skalický was the third best participant in the GT3 category. For the following first sprint his com more >>
Harry King extends winning run with perfect weekend at Oulton Park
24.08.2020
Porsche UK Junior driver Harry King enjoyed another weekend to remember with pole position and two wins as the Porsche Carrera Cup GB headed to Oulton Park for the third double-header of the season.A stunning double win in the previous event at Brands Hatch h more >>
ESET V4 Cup: Wins and podiums for Trevor Racing Team.
24.08.2020
Trevor Racing Team enjoyed success in both the BMW M6 GT3 and the BMW M4 GT4 at round two of the ESET V4 Cup at the Slovakiaring (SVK). Gregor Zsigo (HUN) finished second and third in the GT3 class in the two sprint races, and runner-up alongside Štefan Rosina (SVK) in the endurance race. In the GT4 class, Feren more >>
Nesov/Moiseev claim two GT Open AM podium finishes in Antonelli Motorsport's Mercedes at Paul Ricard
23.08.2020
The Russian duo take p2 in both races - score full points and move up to third in the Drivers' Standings       Team Antonelli Motorsport duo Alexander Moiseev and Alexey Nesov completed a fruitful weekend at the P more >>
Winning start to the China Endurance Championship for the Mercedes-AMG GT3 and GT4
19.08.2020
The opening fixture of the 2020 China Endurance Championship resulted in a one-two win for Team Toro Racing. Davide Rizzo (ITA) and Eric Zang (CHN) in the number 108 Mercedes-AMG GT3 were first to take the chequered flag at the more >>
Jamie Falvey switches to Century for remainder of 2020 Ginetta Supercup
19.08.2020
Nottinghamshire’s Jamie Falvey has switched teams and joined Ginetta SuperCup stalwarts Century Motorsport for the remainder of the 2020 season. Century Motorsport are delighted to have Falvey onboard and are excited to see what they can achieve to more >>
GT Open - Team Antonelli Motorsport doubles entering for Paul Ricard
18.08.2020
- Moiseev, Nesov aim at another podium after finishing 3rd in Hungary- Ferrari makes his debut pairing with AntonelliTeam Antonelli Motorsport doubles in the GT Open, as the international series heads this weekend to the Paul Ricard circuit for the more >>
Lorenzo Ferrari set for extra challenge at Paul Ricard making his GT Open Debut
17.08.2020
.. in Antonelli Motorsport's Mercedes-AMG GT3 car     Lorenzo Ferrari kicked-off his first GT season in a perfect way, as he claimed two wins in a row. The 17-year-old driver from Piacenza, started th more >>
SPS Automotive Performance set for guest start in the International GT Open
17.08.2020
This weekend, the team from Willsbach lines up in round two of the International GT Open at Circuit Paul Ricard. SPS automotive performance will field one Mercedes-AMG GT3 with familiar drivers Valentin Pierburg and Christian Hook (both GER) in both races.  more >>
China Endurance at Ningbo Speedpark results - calendar 2020
16.08.2020
Rnd#1 China Endurance ChampionshipNingbo International Speedpark, China14-16 August, 2020Qualifying (20-mins)1. 33. Xu Jia/Leo Ye (TORO Racing Mercedes AMG GT3 EVO) - 1:43.1132. 108. Eric Zhan more >>
Reigning China Endurance CEC champions claim 1-2 for Mercedes at Ningbo
16.08.2020
Rnd#1 China Endurance ChampionshipNingbo International Speedpark, China14-16 August, 2020An inspired single-stop strategy by reigning champions TORO Racing saw them emerge with a 1-2 finish during the opening round of the 2020 Ch more >>
Bathurst 1000 to open 2020 Australian GT season
13.08.2020
2020 Australian GT ChampionshipWith escalating Covid-19 numbers in Victoria, increased restrictions have hampered an earlier start to the 2020 Australian GT Championship season than had been proposed forcing organisers to aga more >>
Richardson Racing maintains Ginetta Junior title challenge at Brands Hatch
10.08.2020
The Richardson Racing team maintained its challenge in the Michelin Ginetta Junior Championship as the series headed to Brands Hatch for the second round of the campaign.The Corby-based team made the trip to the iconic Kent circuit for the second of back-to- more >>
Richardson Racing fights hard for Brands Hatch Porsche Carrera Cup GB top ten
10.08.2020
The Richardson Racing team battled hard in challenging conditions at Brands Hatch to secure a top ten finish from the second meeting of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB season.The Corby-based team headed for the famous Kent circuit on the back of a soli more >>
CTVS enter third season with China Endurance Championship
10.08.2020
2020 China Endurance ChampionshipThe third season of the popular China Endurance Championship will get underway on August 14 at Ningbo International Speedpark in south-eastern China, the first of four events for 2020 in a season which will see a departure from the formats utilised in the past, the Championship hosting 150-minute races at each round as opposed to longer r more >>
Italian GT Championship: GT4 victory and GT3 podium for BMW Team Italia
04.08.2020
The first event of this season’s Italian GT Sprint Championship at Misano (ITA) saw BMW Team Italia follow on where it left off at the opening Endurance round, which took place two weeks ago at Mugello (ITA). In the GT3 class, Stefano Coma more >>
Audi R8 LMS GT4 Class victory in France
03.08.2020
The Audi R8 LMS GT4 clinched its first class victory in the French club sport racing series Trophée Tourisme Endurance. The Milan Compétition team won the T5 category with Pierre Arraou/Denis Gibaud at the Albi circuit at the season opener a more >>
Audi Sport Italia - Fast sprinters in Misano
03.08.2020
Daniel Mancinelli and Riccardo Agostini proved in the Italian GT Championship that their sprinting talents are as good as their endurance qualities. After winning the endurance season opener together with Audi Sport driver Mattia Drudi two weeks ago, they were more >>
Victory on Saturday, P4 on Sunday, seal Riccardo Agostini, Daniel Mancinelli Misano Adriatico meeting boosting their title bid
03.08.2020
After the win of the previous day, today Audi Sport Italia's R8 LMS continued to show a healthy pace at the Riviera track, posting the best available result in a round hindered by heavy success time handicap and keeping the GT Sprint Series' lead more >>
Aston Martin Racing Driver Academy kicks off as Motor Sport resumes in 2020
01.08.2020
    Aston Martin Racing opens AMR Driver Academy as racing returns    13 drivers selected for programme incorporating Covid-19 measures    Winner receives works support and assistance for 2021 season more >>
South Africa's Jordan Pepper has a busy year ahead
30.07.2020
2020 will still be a blur for Bathurst winner PepperThe 2020 international GT race season started quite brilliantly for South African Bentley Boy Jordan Pepper when he won the Bathurst 12 Hour sharing his Continental GT3 with Jules Gounon and Maxime Soulet i more >>
ESET V4 Cup: Class win at season-opener for the BMW M4 GT4
28.07.2020
The ESET V4 Cup has also launched a new season after an enforced break lasting several months. The first races took place this weekend at Grobnik (CRO). Trevor Racing had cause to celebrate with the BMW M4 GT4. In the second sprint race on Sunday, Ferenc Ficza (HUN) crossed the finish line first in the GT4 class. He had secu more >>
The Eastern European Eset V4 Cup held its opening event at the Grobnik circuit in Croatia.
27.07.2020
Audi privateer Daniel Skalický was on the podium in both sprints and in the endurance race. In the one-hour endurance race, the Czech in the Audi R8 LMS ultra took second place in the GT3 classification. In the first sprint, Skalický improved from third on th more >>
Porsche Sprint Challenge Central Europe Slovakiaring - Clubsport is back
27.07.2020
PORSCHE SPRINT CHALLENGE CENTRAL EUROPEREVIEW KICK-OFF EVENT SLOVAKIARING 2020The Porsche Sprint Challenge Central Europe (PSCCE) has started its second season in Slovakia. One thing is certain: the Clubsport experien more >>
Ferrari Challenge UK restart from Brands Hatch
25.07.2020
The Ferrari Challenge UK will be one of the first motorsport events in the UK to welcome visitors through the gates following the suspension of motorsport activity due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. Using both the historic Indy and GP circuits, there wi more >>
Teenage sensation Ryan How prepares for Australian GT return
23.07.2020
2020 Australian GT ChampionshipThe Barbagallo round of the 2019 Australian GT Championship provided some memorable racing during the three-leg GT race around the 2.4-kilometre circuit, a mix of day and night races providing some epic moments, more >>
Mercedes Class wins in the season openers of other international GT series
22.07.2020
Last weekend, several other GT series also made a late start to their season. In the curtain-raiser to the Italian GT Championship at Mugello, Mercedes Customer Racing Teams chalked up two class victories: Stefano Colombo, Lorenzo Ferrari and Francesca Linossi (all ITA) in the number 27 Mercedes-AMG GT3 fielded by Antonelli MotorSport prevailed in the GT3A class. more >>
Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific launches two new GT4 access programmes for first-time racers
22.07.2020
Porsche Motorsport Asia Pacific has launched two all-new track initiatives to bring aspiring racing drivers onto the motorsport ladder with the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport: the ‘GT4 Guided Driving’ programme and the ‘GT4 Clubsport Experience’.  more >>
Riccardo Agostini makes a winning debut with Audi in the Italian GT
21.07.2020
The Italian racer takes a perfect victory at Mugello sharing the LMS GT3 car with team-mates Mattia Drudi and Daniel Mancinelli     Audi dominated the Italian GT Championship opener at Mugello as Riccardo Agostini c more >>

Kategorien

STROOSSEN ENGLEN ASBL www.stroossenenglen.lu

Jobs Around the World

2001-2020 automobilsport.com full copyright