After suffering a Brands Hatch weekend curtailed by gearbox issues, Renault UK Clio Cup driver Dan Zelos had hoped that he could get a bit more running during practice at Donington Park in his WDE Motorsport Clio.
Dan duly got his wish as he racked up forty seven laps and recorded the sixth fastest times in both practice sessions, things were looking good heading into qualifying.
However, the weather played huge part in the creation of the grid as being on the right tyre at the right time was to put you on the first few rows.
With the teenager in sixteenth place, a mistake free flying lap in the final moments of the session pushed him up to seventh on the grid for race one. This in turn made him the highest placed WDE Motorsport driver.
With race two positions being decided by second fastest laps and having only time to do one flying lap in the session, he was to languish down in fifteenth.
In race one he avoided the carnage on the opening to go up one place into sixth and began the hunt for the driver in fifth. Tyre warming issues however meant he was becoming a target for many of the other Clio Cup drivers behind him pining to get by, he dropped down to seventh.
With five laps to go the tyres finally got ‘into the window’ and he began the pursuit of Zak Fulk in sixth. Dan attempted a move around the outside of Redgate and was tagged by Fulk sending his Evergreen liveried Clio into the gravel. With the time lost, Dan crossed the line in twelth place.
Race two started badly for Dan as he was punted at the first corner onto the grass to therefore fall to the back of the field.
However a superb recovery drive saw him haul his Clio into twelth place again less than a second away from the top ten.
Despite a difficult weekend at Donington, Dan can now be buoyed by the fact that the next circuit on the Renault UK Clio Cup calendar is his favourite circuit Thruxton.
Zelos as the current lap record holder in a Clio around the Hampshire circuit will certainly be hoping that his proven pace around the circuit will push him towards the sharp end of the field.
Speaking of his thoughts about the next round. Dan said, “I’m excited to be going to Thruxton next; it’s a circuit that I love and one I immediately ‘clicked’ with – a real drivers’ track and proper old-school challenge, where you are genuinely on-the-edge all the way round the lap.
“Mental concentration and physical fitness are key factors there, and I’ve been working hard with my personal trainer Paul Suggitt in both areas to ensure I’m absolutely on top form. Hopefully those efforts will pay off.”