MINI CHALLENGE CHAMPION PICKS UP TOP BARC AWARD
Double Vertu MINI CHALLENGE champion Dan Zelos has been rewarded for his success on track in 2023 after being named as the winner of The President’s Cup during the annual British Automobile Racing Club awards.
Zelos was present at the awards to pick up his trophy for securing a second JCW title last season, with the EXCELR8 Motorsport driver seeing off the challenge of impressive rookie Will Orton to reclaim the title he first won back in 2021.
Having already been handed his MINI CHALLENGE trophy, Zelos then found himself being called back onto the stage by compere Alan Hyde to be handed The President’s Cup by former BARC Chief Executive Dennis Carter.
The annual award is given to the most successful BARC member to have competed below international level across the season, and was handed to Zelos after a year in which he not only won the title, but also broke the record for most starts, most wins and most pole positions in the JCW class.
“It was totally unexpected, and a huge honour to pick it up,” he said. “We had an amazing year in 2023 and sometimes when you are busy in the off-season trying to get your plans ready for a new season, you almost forget about the success and great moments you have had.
“To be awarded a trophy like this from the BARC is something that left me lost for words, as my dad and I have worked so hard to get to this stage. I’m honoured to get the award as I’ve been part of the BARC since I started in Ginetta Juniors and I love being part of the Club. They put on some fantastic racing and hopefully I’ll be here for many more years.”
Zelos has yet to confirm his plans for 2024, with a return to defend his title being one potential option.
“After 2021, I was in the position of being the man to catch, and I got fairly beaten by Sam Weller who had a great season,” he said. “I learned a huge amount that helped me to come back and win again last year, and I feel in the best shape possible to win the title a third time if we do return this season.
“I’ve always dreamed of one day competing in the BTCC and a door may open in touring cars, but I know I have time on side as there are plenty of people who have had to wait to join the grid until they are older than I am now. We’ll see what happens, but I love the MINI CHALLENGE and very much feel like part of the family.”