Dan Zelos says he is hungrier than ever for success in the Ginetta Junior Championship following a nightmare outing at Croft last weekend.
Mysterious power issues hampered the JHR Developments racer across the meeting in North Yorkshire, restricting him to by far his lowest qualifying position of the season so far in nineteenth.
After battling in the midfield in the early stages, Zelos’ opening race came to an end when he was unsighted to the spinning Dave Wooder ahead, heavy contact causing substantial damage to both cars.
A great effort from the JHR team ensured he was back on track for race two, however with the power issues not resolved Zelos was left to settle for nineteenth at the finish to cap off a disastrous meeting.
“We came here on the Monday before the meeting and testing went well, we were one of the fastest so we came into the weekend really positive,” Zelos explained to TCF.
“We got here on Friday morning though and had no pace in the car at all. We were two or three mph down in the speed traps and even when we were in peoples tows they were pulling away. We made some changes and it was even worse for second practice.
“We changed to an older engine for qualifying hoping it was a problem with that but it wasn’t and we were left down in P19. It’s really hard to gain ground from there, especially without the power and momentum to get alongside people on the straights before the corners, and we had contact in race one which wrote off the front right of the car and meant another rebuild overnight.
“The whole weekend has been a shambles really. It’s been horrendous, but there’s no fault to the team they’ve worked incredibly hard to try and resolve the problem.”
Those results have dropped Zelos, who hadn’t finished lower than ninth prior to the Croft outing, from third in the championship to fifth, 76 points behind new championship leader and double Croft winner Jamie Caroline.
The 17 year old hasn’t given up on his championship challenge just yet though, and is targeting consistent podium finishes over the second half of the season, starting at his home meeting of Snetterton in five weeks time.
“I was the only driver to have finished in the top ten in every race before Croft and was comfortable in the top three of the championship, but this weekend has been a blow to that,” he concluded.
“I just need to get back in the top five and the podium consistently over the second half of the season. The four drivers in front of me can have a bad round like I have, which would put me right back in the ball park for the championship.
“I don’t want to change my mindset too much, but I’m obviously hungrier than ever for it now.”