Dereham rising kart star chases national honours
Kart racer Dan Zelos of Dereham has closed the gap on the runner-up spot in the fiercely-contested national Super 1 Series.
He kept himself firmly in the title hunt following an impressive weekend at Glan Y Gors, during which he had to overcome not only his rivals but also the elements.
Dan, 13, may not have enjoyed the greatest of fortunes around Glan Y Gors in the past, but he is nonetheless a fan of the demanding and undulating north Wales circuit, and he returned there fired-up and determined to make it third time lucky.
'There are lots of ups-and-downs and blind corners,' explained the highly-rated Dereham-based hotshot. 'There's a full-throttle right-hander at the top of the hill, and you can't see what's beyond it! You've just got to be ready for anything, which definitely makes it more of a challenge – and more enjoyable to drive, too.'
In a 31-strong Comer Cadet class field representing the cream of young British driving talent at that level, Dan was right on the front-running pace from the outset, vying for pole position in qualifying and ultimately winding up an excellent third. From there, the Northgate High School pupil went on to begin both of his heat races from fourth place, but the first one unravelled before the starting lights had even extinguished when his engine oiled up and cut out.'
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In heat two, the heavens opened to throw another unknown into the equation. Battling against persistent carburettor issues into the bargain, it was a challenge that Dan mastered for third place
On a slippery track surface for the opening final, Dan fought well to progress from 16th on the grid to tenth at the chequered flag.
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In the second final he passed several people to move up to seventh, but couldn't shake off the driver right behind him and finished eighth.
'I was quite happy with that, though. We had been hoping to maybe get a trophy by coming in the top six, but they were good points and there are still a lot of rounds left to go.'
Maintaining fifth position in the overall standings – and narrowing the deficit to second place from ten points to just seven – Dan concluded: 'The leader is a little way ahead, but all I need is one really good weekend and I will be right up there with him. There's plenty of time to catch up.'
If you are interested in getting involved in life in the fast lane by sponsoring Norfolk's resident speed demon, contact his dad Andy at: email@example.com