Dan Zelos has edged his way back into Ginetta Junior Championship title contention with a pair of top four finishes during the annual trip north of the border to Knockhill.
The JHR Developments driver carried the momentum from a return to the podium at Snetterton last time out into the Scottish meeting, but saw traffic in qualifying restrict him to sixth on the grid in qualifying.
The Norfolk racer lost ground early in race one amongst confusion over a safety car period, but fought back in style and scythed his way up the order into fourth, finishing just over a tenth of a second shy of the podium places.
The live-televised race two saw Zelos in the middle of a breathless fight for the podium positions from start to finish after settling into third early on. Attacking and defending at the same time, with barely a second splitting the top five heading on the final lap, Zelos hung onto a fifth podium of the season in third.
The results move Zelos up to third in the championship standings, 68 points shy of the points lead, with the next stop on the calendar being Rockingham, the scene of one of his two victories last year.
“We had a positive test day before the weekend and seemed to have some decent pace and that trend continued in practice; and I really felt like I had the car underneath me,” said Zelos.
“I was disappointed to end up only sixth in qualifying. The tyres were at their fastest early on when I was caught in traffic; and by the time I found some clear air, they were unfortunately past their best.
“I made a good start on Saturday to gain a position, but at the end of the first lap the safety car boards came out which caused the whole pack to slow down – but then nothing happened and on the main straight, we suddenly went ‘green’ again! That caught me off-guard and a couple of drivers snuck past.
“After that, I focussed on battling back and we were really quick in the closing stages, and it was just a shame we didn’t have a lap or two more as I’m sure we would have been able to mount an attack on the top three.
“Race two was a real cat-and-mouse affair. We had really good speed again and I was happy to finish on the podium – we’re continuing to progress in the right direction.
“We have a bit of work to do over the next two weeks because we seem to be lacking power in relation to some of our competitors and Rockingham is quite an engine-dependent circuit, but we’re certainly up for the fight!”