Frustration for Dereham race Dan Zelos at Brands Hatch
- Credit: Archant
Dan Zelos' frustrating Renault Clio Cup campaign continued as the season finished off on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix layout with the Dereham youngster unable to convert his speed into a podium position.
'It kind of summed up our season in a nutshell, all ifs, buts and maybes,' reflected the local racer. 'We have been quick pretty much everywhere, but we have rarely had the luck to go with it and ultimately, that is what has cost us the chance to fight for a much stronger championship finish.'
The meeting couldn't have started better for Zelos who posted the fastest lap time in the opening practice session with the Evergreen Tyres supported car on old tyres and showed well in the second session when new tyres were bolted on.
'It was the perfect way to begin but we didn't find as much time as the others seemed to in FP2, which is probably a legacy of having not been able to do as much testing as they have on new rubber,' claimed Zelos.
Qualifying proved challenging with Zelos suffering due a set-up change which didn't work out and he would start the opening race from 10th on the grid. A demon start to the race saw Zelos up to sixth place by the first corner but was nudged wide at the following hairpin and slotted into seventh before a long safety car interlude.
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On the restart Zelos advanced a position and was lining up fifth-placed Max Coates when the red flags flew ending the action after just three racing laps.
'I had a really fast car underneath me and just wanted to get on with it and go on the attack, but safety must come first,' said a frustrated Zelos.
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Zelos made a second great start in race two to be seventh, right behind WED team mate Paul Rivett, who was fighting for the championship title.
'I was mindful of Paul's title challenge so I needed to be careful,' claimed Zelos.
As the race unfolded Zelos moved into fourth place and started to close in on the second place battle when on the final lap he received a hefty thump in the back which sent him off-track and spinning down to eighth place, which became seventh when his attacker was penalised a position.
'That was so frustrating, because it almost certainly cost us a podium with the way things played out,' he said.