DAN ZELOS CELEBRATES CENTURY WITH RACE TWO WIN

Dan Zelos celebrated 100 races in the Vertu MINI CHALLENGE with a dramatic win in the second Snetterton race following a last lap move on team-mate Max Hall.

Hall had started the reverse grid race from pole position but was slow away from the line as Jamie Osborne led the field into turn one for the first time.

Hall was able to slot in behind and wasted little time in fighting his way through ahead of the NAPA Racing UK man into top spot before starting to ease away from Nelson King – who made an audacious move going into lap two as he cleared Lydia Walmsley and Osborne through the opening corners.

King couldn’t keep pace with Hall at the front whilst Zelos was making forward moves behind, getting ahead of Walmsley on lap three as she attempted to pass Osborne, and then clearing Osborne himself to move into the podium positions on lap four.

A series of quick laps allowed Zelos to close in on King before he went around the outside through Coram – grabbing the lead when he then had the inside line into the final corner.

Hall at that stage still had a solid advantage at the front but as he found himself managing a gearbox issue, Zelos was able to close in on the man ahead.

On the final lap, Zelos nosed down the inside into the Bombhole and was able to complete the move through Coram to grab the lead and the win, with Hall – who suffered a wild slide at Coram and was struggling to change out of fifth gear – then being beaten to the line by King in a drag race from the final corner.

It means Zelos extends his points lead as with Lewis Selby failing to score, Hall has moved up into second spot.

“It’s mega to win that one as you always want a good memory for a landmark race,” Zelos said. “I made it difficult for myself as I fluffed the start a bit but I got my head down and tried to go one-by-one and see where I could get to.

“The car was getting hot so we had to manage that a bit, and I thought it would be hard to get Max on the final lap. However, I managed to get alongside and I didn’t think I would get through but to win is fantastic.”

Whilst there were just two-tenths of a second covering the top three, Osborne would slip away from the podium battle to end up in fourth place ahead of a chasing Dominic Wheatley – who grabbed the fastest lap for six bonus points at the end.

Wheatley had started back in 14th place on the grid after a troublesome race one, but a series of solid overtakes saw him race his way forwards to finish less than a second behind Osborne with Lydia Walmsley rounding out the top six.

Marlo Cordell produced a similar run to Wheatley as he came through from the back to take seventh spot, with Tom Ovenden, Bradley Gravett and Josh Porter following behind; the three EXCELR8 drivers crossing the line together in a drag race out of the final corner.

Jamie Going took Directors Cup honours for JamSport after Selby’s retirement and a mid-race spin for Matt Hammond, whilst James Griffith failed to start due to a gearbox issue.