Dan Zelos has expressed his delight after taking a second race Ginetta Junior Championship win of his maiden car-racing campaign at Rockingham to move up to fourth in the standings.
The JHR Developments racer took his first win since Thruxton in May during a dramatic opening race of the weekend around the banked Corby circuit.
Bouncing back from slipping to fifth in the traditional first corner shuffle, Zelos stormed up to third by lap five and hastily closed a two second deficit to the dueling leaders Lando Norris and Jamie Caroline.
Zelos watched on as the leaders frantically swapped positions and sensed their tussle would not end well, an intuition that proved correct as last corner contact between the two allowed him to storm past for victory, with team-mates Jack Mitchell and Jamie Chadwick completing the podium.
“The two leaders were going at it hammer-and-tongs and trading paint all the way. It was obvious that something was going to give and that it would end in tears,” said Zelos.
“I’m over-the-moon to get my second win of the season. At the start of the year, I never expected to win even one race, let alone two, and to come away with a one-two-three finish for the team was no less than the JHR boys deserved after all the effort they have put in.”
Whilst the second outing of the weekend didn’t provide quite as many thrills, it did yield a second podium of the weekend for Zelos, as he quickly advanced one position to third before maintaining the spot for the remainder of the race.
That podium, his seventh of the season, means Zelos left Rockingham as the highest point scorer in the series over the weekend.
The 16 year old is keeping his feet on the ground though, feeling there’s more pace to find in the car to ensure he can challenge for podiums in the remaining meetings at Silverstone and Brands Hatch.
“As on Saturday, we didn’t quite have the ultimate edge in Sunday’s race, but I managed to hold my position at the start and then took advantage of a mistake ahead,” he added.
“It was fantastic to get another podium, given that we lacked the outright speed over the weekend, we really pulled the results out of the bag. Now we need to go away and try to find a bit more pace in testing – and then hopefully we can return at Silverstone with a race-winning car.”