Dan Zelos secured victory in the first of the three scheduled Vertu MINI CHALLENGE races of the weekend at Snetterton, having already grabbed top spot earlier in the day in the round rescheduled from Donington Park.

Zelos had started the race – which was shortened to 18 minutes after Josh Price stalled at the initial start – from the second row of the grid but wasted little time in hitting the front when the lights went out.

Price bogged down slightly from pole having appeared to move early, which provided both Zelos and Nelson King with the chance to get ahead on the opening lap, with Price slipping back to third spot.

The pole sitter was then overhauled by Max Hall on lap two before being hit with a ten second penalty that dropped him out of the equation at the front, shortly before he slowed with a clutch issue.

As Zelos led at the front, King came under pressure for position from Hall, who managed to make a move for second spot at the final corner on lap four whilst behind, Lewis Selby found himself defending fourth from a charging Lydia Walmsley at her home circuit.

King managed to get back ahead of Hall into second place with a move at the Montreal Hairpin and set off after Zelos but there weren’t enough laps left to make an impression on the leader as the defending champion grabbed the victory – with King having to settle for the second step of the podium.

“After ending up in the barriers in the Donington race earlier on, it’s nice to be back on the podium,” King said. “I’m a bit disappointed in myself as I felt the car had the pace to win but this is certainly a step forwards.

“We’ve had some problems we couldn’t put our finger on but the team had worked hard to find the issues and fix them and now I feel in a position to really race.”

Behind the top two, Hall looked to be racing to third spot until the final lap when he ran off the road at Nelson with Selby looking to find a way through.

That opened the door for Walmsley to nip ahead of the pair and she duly brought her car to the finish for a maiden JCW podium finish with Selby following behind – leading to emotional scenes with her family post-race.

His NAPA Racing UK team-mate Jamie Osborne also managed to jump ahead of Hall as he recovered to take sixth, with Josh Porter and Bradley Gravett rounding out the top eight.

That however was only after Gravett had been tipped sideways at Coram on the final lap to drop him places.

Nathan Edwards and James Griffith then rounded out the top ten, with the top five on the grid being reversed for race two on Sunday morning.