After two did-not fin­ishes, Dave Perel klapped it like only a bloke from Cape Town can last week.

The Witness - Wheels - - FRONT PAGE - — Supplied.

DAVID Perel put the dif­fi­cult start to his Blanc­pain GT En­durance Se­ries ca­reer be­hind him with a bril­liant show­ing in his two stints at the 1 000 km of Paul Ri­card on the week­end, and even if fourth in class was scant re­ward for his per­for­mance, the Capeto­nian and his gen­tle­man-driver team-mates Amer­i­can Stephen Earle and Bel­gian Bernard Del­hez, were de­lighted to fi­nally score cham­pi­onship points with fourth in the AM class.

Perel, how­ever, de­liv­ered a head­line per­for­mance as he drove to his sec­ond-class pole po­si­tion on the trot at the cir­cuit over­look­ing the French Riviera, be­fore lead­ing through­out his first beat and then re­cov­er­ing from sixth to hand the PereSoft Kes­sel Fer­rari 458 over to his team-mate on a handy class lead after his sec­ond stint of the six-hour race.

His team-mates hit trou­ble after that, but they kept it to­gether to see Dele­hez bring it home fourth in class at the mid­night fin­ish.

“It was a tough end to our week­end,” Perel said.

“We fin­ished fourth in class after my team-mates had a dif­fi­cult fi­nal two hours, but I am re­ally proud of my stints. I was very happy with my week­end and de­lighted to put it on pole in class.”

Perel then had the priv­i­lege to start the race for the first time and en­joyed a com­pet­i­tive first stint, dur­ing which he set the fastest AM lap of the race by al­most a sec­ond. “I started 13th and got into the top 20 — we were 19th when I handed the car over to Stephen,” David said.

“My pace was tip­top and we were in a handy class lead.”

The sit­u­a­tion had, how­ever, changed con­sid­er­ably by the time Perel took over the wheel again at the three-hour mark, with the Fer­rari back in sixth, but David de­liv­ered a stun­ning hour’s work to climb back into the class lead as night fell. “I was hold­ing thumbs that my team-mates could keep it to­gether.”

The trio came close to the top-three dream, but an ex­tra stop to at­tend to rear body dam­age dur­ing Earle’s fourth stint dropped the Fer­rari down the or­der, although a steady run from there was enough for a fourth in class and 28th over­all.

Perel said: “Now the fo­cus is on our test at Spa in 10 days time be­fore the big one. I’m re­ally look­ing for­ward to my first Spa 24-hour at the end of the month.”


Dave Perel puts on his race face.

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