Rookie Champ Zelos Has Main Title In His Sights

Davanti Tyres-backed Mini Challenge racer Dan Zelos is gunning for glory after the frustration of lockdown.

August 1 is officially the new date for the Mini Challenge series to start at Donington Park, in a shorter five-round campaign alongside the British Touring Car Championship.

EXCELR8 Motorsport driver Zelos joined the Davanti stable at the turn of the year as he prepared for his second run at the series title.

Last season, the Dereham ace claimed the Rookie Cup and came within a breath of the overall crown, finishing third.

But in March, as his testing pace increased, the devastating news that lockdown was going to delay – and potentially even cancel – the season put the brakes on his preparations.

Now Zelos is gearing up for a shakedown test at Snetterton and is focusing on his ultimate goal – victory.

“It’s been a crazy time,” he said. “We were really excited about how testing was going, excited to get back to racing and excited to launch our new partnership with Davanti Tyres.

“Then the global pandemic kicked in and everything was thrown into doubt.

“Now we have a start date for a shorter season, I’m just itching to get back into the car and race!

“Not being out on the track – and not knowing when I would be again – was frustrating mentally. But I have been preparing for a campaign where, as the rookie champion, I would have a target on my back and that mental strength meant when the season start was announced, I was 100% ready.”

During lockdown, Zelos has been kept busy. He has been working as a manager at tyre wholesaler WST’s Worksop site – which has continued operating throughout the COVID-19 lockdown.

“It’s helped keep me fit getting around the warehouse,” said Zelos. “Lockdown has meant I’ve had to be creative about maintaining my race shape. No gym and no personal trainer has been challenging – but I’ve been running 5km regularly and physically I’m ready to go.

“I’ve been really lucky. Davanti Tyres has been a really supportive partner, and on that side of it we have done well. Only one sponsor has had to pull out, but Coronavirus has made things tough and I hope when things improve they may return.

“We have worked hard to keep the team around my car together and come August 1st we are confident that we will hit the ground running so that EXCELR8 Motorsport, Davanti Tyres and Dan Zelos will be ‘Leading the Way’!”

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