Dan Zelos made a strong start to his 2021 Mini Challenge campaign at his home track of Snetterton - with fans watching in-person for the first time in over a year.
The Davanti Tyres and CAM Systems-backed Dereham ace established himself among the leading group in race one with a 5th place finish after capitalising on a clash between Max Coates and Jason Lockwood in the closing stages.
With BRDC Rising Star Zelos now fired up, another 5th place finish came in race two, his charge for fourth place hampered by a series of yellow flags.
In Sunday’s race three, live on ITV 4, Zelos slipped to eighth before battling back through the field and snatching fourth from Sam Weller with seconds to spare.
By the end of the three-race weekend only Zelos and rival Weller had secured top 5 finishes in every race.
While the podium narrowly eluded him, Zelos’ performance has given him a strong base on which to build his season.
“Last year was so strange with empty tracks and restrictions,” he said. “This year with fans back in the stand it felt a little more normal. Like real racing was back.
“Consistency is always key. We stayed out of trouble, held our ground well and came away with a very solid haul of points, and even though we didn’t quite manage to grab any silverware, there were a lot of positives. Our pace was definitely a lot better than our results suggested.
“We’ve got a good race set-up and we’ll learn from our mistakes before Brands Hatch, where both myself and the team have been successful in the past. If we can nail qualifying, which has traditionally been one of our strongest suits, I think we can do really well there. It’s such early days in the season, and the most important thing is that we’re clearly in the hunt.”
Zelos returns to action on June 26/27 at Brands Hatch.
Follow his season with Davanti Tyres at www.davanti-tyres.com/makeithappen and on our social channels - search for Davanti Tyres on facebook or visit @davanti_tyres on instagram and twitter