Dan Zelos moved clear as the driver with the most wins in the current JCW car with victory in the second Vertu Motors MINI CHALLENGE race of the weekend at Knockhill.

The EXCELR8 driver had endured a tricky opening race on Saturday, missing out on a place on the podium despite starting from pole position as main title rival Will Orton returned to the top step.

That put Orton pole for race two, but a slow start for the Hybrid Tune racer allowed fellow front-row starter Nelson King to hit the front going down to turn one, with Zelos being squeezed onto the grass as he also jumped Orton and tried to go wheel-to-wheel with King for the lead.

It wouldn’t take long for the former champion to find a way ahead however, diving down the inside of King into the hairpin to grab the lead before the end of the opening lap.

Joe Tanner was a man on a mission in the early stages as he fought his way ahead of Bradley Gravett and Jamie Osborne in the opening laps but then undid his good work when he ran across the grass at turn one and dropped down the order.

Things would go from bad to worse for the Hybrid Tune driver when he was tipped into a spin by Lewis Selby exiting the hairpin, putting him out of the race when his car wouldn’t restart.

The safety car was deployed to allow Tanner’s car to be recovered, with Zelos leading the field away from King and Orton – but not for long as Orton dived down the inside of King into the hairpin to grab second.

Orton would close on Zelos as the race wore on as the pair at the front broke away from King, with Zelos taking the flag two-tenths of a second clear for a 13th victory in the series.

“Breaking the record for most wins is the cherry on top after a great battle,” he said. “That was proper MINI CHALLENGE racing and a good way to come back from yesterday, when we didn’t get the get the set-up right for the changing conditions.

“I’ve made it hard for myself for race three by pulling number six on the reverse grid, but sixth to first is possible round here and I’ve shown in the past that I can overtake.”

King would round out the podium in a lonely third place, but would then find himself promoted into second thanks to a ten-second penalty for Orton for being out of position at the start.

There would also be a penalty for King for crowding Zelos off track at the start, although it didn’t impact his result and will instead see him drop two places on the grid for race three.

Behind the top three, a huge fight raged between Thomas Jack Lee and Jamie Osborne, with Lee managing to get ahead shortly after the restart and holding on until the closing stages when Osborne finally made pressure pay to get back into the position.

Bradley Gravett would also nip ahead of Lee at the finish when his EXCELR8 team-mate ran wide out of the final corner, with Gravett crossing the line just 0.071s ahead.

After the race however, there would be a change to the result, with Osborne handed a penalty for forcing Lee wide – dropping him from fourth to sixth behind his rival and moving both Gravett and Lee up a spot.

Behind them, Oliver Meadows, Selby, Ryan Faulconbridge and Josh Porter rounded out the top ten – that result coming despite Potter ripping the undertray from his car with a trip off track at the chicane.

Dominic Wheatley had been firmly in the top ten fight before he went off at the chicane, making heavy contact with the barriers to leave his car nursing extensive rear-end damage.