Dan Zelos enjoyed a positive car-racing debut in the 2013 ATL Racing Fuel Cells Ginetta Junior Winter Series last weekend at Snetterton.
Like many of his rivals on track, the 15 year old was using the four-race event in Norfolk to get vital race mileage in ahead of a planned campaign in the Ginetta Junior Championship in 2014.
Unlike most though, Zelos headed into the meeting with no previous car-racing experience, ensuring a steep learning curve over the weekend. Keeping his head in tricky damp conditions, he put his JHR Developments-prepared G40J thirteenth on the grid the opening day’s two races.
The Norfolk-based racer ran well in the early stages of race one, before being caught out by mud dragged onto the track by a spinning rival, a spin for himself putting him into the barriers and out of the race. In treacherous conditions in race two, Zelos bounced back with a composed drive to eighth place at the finish.
Thirteenth again on the grid for both Sunday’s races after qualifying, Zelos produced another confidence-boosting top ten finish in his Evergreen-backed Ginetta in race one, before concluding the meeting with thirteenth position in the final race, the only dry track outing of the weekend.
“We had pretty much the toughest weather conditions imaginable on Saturday,” said Zelos. “I was definitely a lot more comfortable in the last race when the circuit was mainly dry. My speed was much better and I felt like I was really racing rather than just driving.
“Overall, it was an extremely positive weekend and I learned so much. My driver coach, Tom Ingram and the whole team were brilliant with me. We made massive progress in the wet and got consistently closer to the leading pace with every session. I understand which areas I need to concentrate on now, and with more time in the car, that should start to come naturally.
“Dan’s first car racing weekend went really well,” added Ingram. “He is keen to learn and his progression was absolutely fantastic – he is getting quicker every single time he goes out. With some hard work over the winter, I’m convinced Dan will be exactly where he needs to be by the time the season kicks off at Brands Hatch at the end of March.”