Dan Zelos has described his maiden win in the Ginetta Junior Championship as “unexpected” and “amazing”, after emerging victorious from the opening race of the weekend at Thruxton.
Zelos started the nine lap encounter from third on the grid, and managed to avoid a first lap incident around him at the complex to grab second place. Hunting down leader Ben Pearson, Zelos seized on a mistake for the leader at the chicane to grab the lead into Allard at the start of lap four.
As a fight for the remaining podium places unfolded behind him, the 15 year old was able to break away and produced a superb, composed drive to become the first rookie winner of the season.
“I never expected to come first,” Zelos told TCF. “I didn’t get the best of starts, and then got sandwiched between two people when there was a crash in front of me. I luckily got through in second, caught the leader and overtook him.
“He was then worrying about people behind him, which let me get a bit of a gap and ease it off a little bit on the final lap and bring it home. It’s amazing, and massive thanks to JHR Developments and Evergreen for getting me here.”
The result hasn’t come as a complete surprise to Zelos’ JHR Developments team, with the Norfolk-based racer having shown great promise around the circuit in pre-season testing. Zelos admits he felt instantly at home around the unique high-speed Hampshire circuit.
“I’m not sure why I’ve clicked with Thruxton so well,” he explained. “It’s a very fast circuit and I just seem to have quite a lot of confidence around the fast corners. That’s helped me get good pace, and we’ve been quick in both the dry and wet around here.”
In the elation of the maiden victory, Zelos was quick to play down his chances of more victories this season, with the rookie keeping his feet on the ground and targeting more top five finishes over the course of his rookie season.
“I’d like to keep running at the front, but it’s my rookie season and if I can get consistent top fives I’ll be over the moon,” he concluded. “This year is about getting the consistency and the time on track for next year, and it’s amazing to get the win, but I’m not expecting too much more too early.”