The partnership between Evergreen Tyres and rising British motorsport star Dan Zelos will continue into an epic sixth year as the Dereham Dynamo switches to Minis in 2019.Having guest-driven in the Mini Challenge last season, the 20-year-old will move full-time from the Renault UK Clio Cup to the Mini Challenge – a series whose own star is currently rising.
With Zelos supported by Evergreen – with their strapline Everyday Exceptional – it is fitting that he will be joining the MINI UK VIP outfit on the grid, with his Clio Cup mechanic Dan Cusick making the switch with him.
“As a series, there’s no question that the Mini Challenge is growing in profile,” Zelos acknowledged. “The recent announcement that it will join the BTCC support package in 2020 means even more eyes will be on it this year, so it’s the perfect time to make the jump.
“Ultimately, I drove the Clio for three years and by the end, I knew it inside-out. It’s always difficult to adapt to a new car after that length of time, but I already feel good inside the MINI and following the three races at Brands Hatch last summer, I at least know how to get it off the line so that’s one less thing to have to learn!”
Peter Cross, Evergreen Tyres’ UK Commercial Manager said: “Every step of the way Dan has been making progress and improving and we fully supported his decision to switch.
“He is a great brand ambassador and we want to do what we can to help him maximise his potential. We are proud of our six-year association with Dan. It’s one of the longest on the grid and we can’t wait to see what he can achieve in the Mini Challenge.”
For five years Zelos has competed on the British Touring Car Championship undercard, starting in Ginetta Juniors before stepping up to the Clio Cup. His record of 59 top 10 finishes and 18 podiums across those tough series’ demonstrated his quality, but now he is setting his sights on a touring car seat and the move to Minis is a significant step toward that goal.
VIP Team Owner Justina Williams predicts great things of the East Anglian ace over the coming months.
“What really impresses with Dan is his methodical approach to the race weekend,” she said. “He understands that to win there needs to be a focus on the finest details. We look forward to him being on the podium numerous times throughout the year.”
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