Zelos takes it to the Max in flying start at a new level
Dereham karter Dan Zelos has sent out a warning shot to his rivals after stepping up from Comer Cadet level to the more powerful and fiercely competitive Mini Max class for 2012.
Zelos finished an excellent eighth in the MSA British Cadet class of the Lewis Hamilton and Bernie Ecclestone-backed Formula Kart Stars Championship last year – tallying seven top ten final finishes as well as six top three heat results including a brace of magnificent victories. From there, Mini Max marked the logical next step for the talented young hotshot – and a deal was struck with Tooley Motorsport, the outfit that ran Ross Gunn to 2011 British title glory in the national Super 1 Series.
A tremendously encouraging testing debut at Whilton Mill – one of the most physically demanding tracks in the country – saw Zelos lapping on the leading pace within just half a day, and his subsequent race meetings have proven to be every bit as auspicious.
First time out at PF International – and up against all the Mini Max big-hitters to make it even more of a baptism of fire – the Northgate High School pupil annexed a trio of top seven heat placings in a bumper 32-strong field. Zelos' lack of experience in the class then showed as he was pressurised into a rare mistake in the final that sent him plummeting down the order, but he fought his way grittily back through to 13th at the chequered flag.
That raw speed was replicated next time out at Glan Y Gors, where the 13-year-old rebounded from mechanical issues during the heats to finish a commendable sixth in the final.
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At Whilton Mill, Zelos' challenge was undone by persistent electrical woes in the heats, leaving him with much work to do in the final from well down the order. He fairly scythed his way through to an eventual ninth out of the 24 contenders – barely three seconds adrift of the winner, and setting the fastest lap for good measure.
Back at PF again for his last appearance of the year, Zelos recovered from a knock in one of his heat races to claim a very competitive fifth out of 29 in the final, with another fastest lap to his name – three tenths of a second quicker than that of the winner.
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'I definitely think Mini Max is the right way forward,' he said. 'I know the competition will be extremely tough, with big grids and some very strong drivers remaining in the class and a lot of Cadet front-runners stepping up. It is tougher physically – especially on the arms – but overall, I didn't find the step-up as hard as I had expected it to be, and I got into it pretty quickly.'
Anyone interested in sponsoring Zelos should contact his dad Andy at: firstname.lastname@example.org