Dan Zelos believes that limited pre-season testing miles will not hold him back from being in the battle at the front of the field from the off in the 2018 Renault UK Clio Cup.
Zelos headed into the winter with plenty of momentum after enjoying a standout weekend in the 2017 season finale with a breakthrough pair of podium finishes.
He returns to the grid this season with WDE Motorsport for his third campaign in the championship, having accumulated fifteen top ten finishes so far in the series.
Zelos unveiled his 2018 challenger at Silverstone yesterday (15th March), with an eye-catching livery marking his fifth consecutive season with headline sponsor Evergreen Tyres.
The visit to Silverstone for the championship’s media day would mark his first full day of running in the car this pre-season, with Zelos finishing ninth fastest of the thirteen runners.
While the Norfolk racer admits his lack of running in pre-season might put him “a little bit on the back foot” for the season opener next month, he feels he can still start the year strongly.
“I’m looking forward to the start of the season. I think the car looks great – the new design really stands out from the crowd,” said Zelos.
“Only having a day-and-a-half of track time underneath my belt heading to the first round – and pretty much all of it in wet conditions – is obviously far from ideal, but that’s how it is.
“We shook the car down at Brands Hatch last month, which was a good opportunity to get back into the groove, then at Silverstone, whilst we weren’t quite as quick as we wanted to be.
“On balance though, I’d say we’re in reasonable shape and should be there-or-thereabouts at the first round, and most importantly, I’ve got an excellent team behind me.
“The Clio Cup will be intensely competitive and wide open this year. Consistency will be key, so the goal is to score regular top five finishes and push for podiums and wins wherever possible.
“We might be playing catch-up slightly going into the first round, but it’s a long season and if we can get through Brands Hatch with a solid couple of results, we can then build on that moving forward.”