Dan Zelos overturned the penalty of the reverse grid draw to battle his way to a second win of the weekend as the curtain came down on the latest meeting for the Vertu Motors MINI CHALLENGE at Knockhill.

The race kicked off with Thomas Jack Lee on pole and he was able to get away from the line well to lead the field into turn one for the first time ahead of EXCELR8 team-mate Bradley Gravett, with Jamie Osborne holding onto third and Zelos managing to get the jump on Will Orton off the line to move into fourth.

Contact between Dan Petters and Josh Porter that saw Porter spin into the tyres on the run to Duffus Dip saw the safety car then deployed before the action resumed on lap four.

As Lee led the field away at the front, Gravett appeared to be struggling with his car and was under pressure from Osborne on the restart, with the NAPA Racing man in turn being pressured by Zelos.

Zelos would nip ahead of Osborne at the hairpin to grab third spot and within a lap, had managed to get ahead of Gravett into second before setting his sights on Lee at the front.

Having tried around the outside at the hairpin on lap eighth, Zelos managed to get the cutback on his rookie team-mate through turn one at the start of the following lap and made a move stick into turn three to grab the lead.

Following another brief caution to recover the car of Billy Hardy from the gravel, Zelos would run untroubled at the front as he added to his victory record to extend his advantage at the top of the points, with the big battle being for second place behind.

Lee and Osborne – who had overhauled Gravett – would dice side-by-side on more than one occasion before Osborne finally made a move stick, with Lee holding on to third until he was caught out by a late dive from Orton going into the hairpin.

That allowed Orton to secure a second podium of the weekend, with Hybrid Tune team-mate Joe Tanner following him home in fourth place.

That capped a fine drive from the home racer, who had started from the back of the grid following his race two DNF but made gradual progress through the pack – securing fourth on the penultimate lap when he was able to find a way ahead of Lee.

Fifth place still capped a fine drive for Lee ahead of Ryan Faulconbridge and a fading Gravett, with Lydia Walmsley, Oliver Meadows and Dominic Wheatley rounding out the top ten.

That was a result that rewarded the Graves Motorsport squad for its efforts after it had worked hard to repair Wheatley’s damaged car between the second and third races following his heavy contact with the barriers earlier in the day.

Nelson King had been firmly in the fight inside the top six throughout the race before he slowed and was forced to return to the pits late on, with Jordan Kerridge also retiring to the pits.

Marlo Cordell’s Jamsport-run car would pull off at the end of the green flag lap.