With the pandemic situation continuing to place 2021 motorsport series in doubt, racers are preparing to get involved in Esports. While digital competition has been a growing trend for several years, interest in digital motorsport spiked in response to the suspension of series across Europe in 2020. A leading Mini Challenge competitor, Dan Zelos is looking forward to his return to the track on 16 January, as the championship’s official eSeries commences. Zelos is supported by Davanti Tyres; the UK tyre brand will also boast a presence in the competition as Zelos pilots his Davanti-branded Mini around virtual versions of every circuit on the 2021 calendar.
The Mini Challenge returns this weekend for its second set of races since its Covid-delayed start at Donington Park (1-2 August). The JCW field is linked to the British Touring Car Championship, both as a support series for the first time in 2020 and by virtue of its switch from Dunlop rubber to European sister brand Goodyear, which supplies the BTCC. The move to Goodyear, in the final year of its 2017 penned Dunlop supply deal, signifies the continued realignment of the Goodyear brand within motorsport. Having already returned to the international stage with top-flight series like the FIA World Endurance Championship, Goodyear wants to expand its presence in national series too. The Mini Challenge JCWs run on a variation of Goodyear’s new Eagle F1 SuperSport slick tyre range. The company stresses the strength of this move for the development of competitors looking to make the step up to the headline BTCC series.
Davanti marked its fifth anniversary with its first international dealer conference at the end of February. The tyre brand hosted more than 150 attendees by Everton Football Club’s Goodison Park, where it’s development director Gary Cross took the opportunity to announce its upcoming products, including range extensions and what might be called the second generation of Davanti tyres given the new naming conventions first introduced in the Wintoura winter tyre and Terratoura all-terrain 4×4 tyre ranges. Davanti sales director for UK and Ireland Sean Maddocks also presented observations on tyre markets, the development of the brand’s global dealer network over the past five years, and its commercial partnerships including the renewal of its official brand partnership with Everton FC.
Dan Zelos’ switch to the Mini Challenge series proved to be a masterstroke in 2019 as the Dereham Dynamo lifted the Rookie Cup. The rising star – in his sixth year as an Evergreen Tyres athlete – went into the final race at his home track at Snetterton with a mathematical shot at the overall title. And while the convoluted series of circumstances required to carry him to the overall championship for the MINI UK VIP team didn’t quite come to pass, the rookie title ensured the season ended as a hugely successful one for the series debutant.
Renault Clio Cup racer Dan Zelos has been supported by Evergreen Tyres for half a decade. The partnership started in karting, and has continued to Zelos’ current drive in the Renault Clio Cup. The tyre brand states that its support for Zelos is motivated both by the marketing opportunity it offers and by helping a young driver achieve his ambitions.
Evergreen and Grouptyre supported grassroots racer Dan Zelos recently scored a podium double at his home race in the 2014 Ginetta Junior Championship at Snetterton. After lapping an excellent fourth-quickest amongst the 19 high-calibre contenders during practice, the gifted Norfolk rookie replicated that stellar form to line up on the second row of the grid for both races in his distinctive JHR Developments-run, Evergreen Tyres-sponsored Ginetta G40 – the best combined qualifying effort of his fledgling car racing career to-date.