Pro­gres­sion pleas­ing for Perez ju­nior

Macclesfield Express - - SEARCH -


SEB Perez showed strong pace and fight­ing spirit in rounds three and four of the KICK Start En­ergy Ginetta Ju­nior Cham­pi­onship at Don­ing­ton Park over the week­end.

The 15-year-old King’s School stu­dent is the son of 2014 BTRDA Gold Star Rally Cham­pion Steve Perez, who re­cently com­peted in the Kick En­ergy Ju­nior 1000 Rally Cham­pi­onship and the se­ries is backed by Steve’s Global Brands busi­ness.

Perez made the tran­si­tion from ral­ly­ing and fol­low­ing in dad’s foot­steps last Oc­to­ber when he raced a Ginetta at Brands Hatch in the fi­nal round of the se­ries and part of a sup­port race to the Bri­tish Tour­ing Car Cham­pi­onship.

He fin­ished 18th and 16th – a de­cent show­ing for a first out­ing in a new car and to­tally dif­fer­ent to driv­ing through forests in a rally car.

His attack on the 2015 KICK Start En­ergy Ginetta Ju­nior Cham­pi­onship started over the Easter Week­end at Brands Hatch. Un­for­tu­nately, in both races Perez had to fight back af­ter los­ing ground when cars spun in front of him, lead­ing to a 21st place fin­ish in race one and 13th in race two de­spite a dis­lodged bon­net.

The teenager, who is spon­sored by Mor­ris Lu­bri­cants, was rac­ing at his home track for the first time in a fiercely com­pet­i­tive 25-car field for the Ginetta Ju­nior Cham­pi­onship, which is con­tested by 14 to 17 year-old rac­ers.

Although his fi­nal race re­sults did not re­flect his true pace, Seb was pleased with his progress.

“Qual­i­fy­ing was good, but there was a red flag four min­utes from the end of the ses­sion,” he said. “We had an amaz­ing lap com­ing to­gether when some­one cut me up.

“That’s bound to hap­pen at some stage in th­ese cars.”

His best lap left him 18th on the grid, but only nine-tenths of a sec­ond away from the pole po­si­tion time.

Race one on Satur­day started well.

“I made a cou­ple of places into the first cor­ner,” said Seb. “Go­ing into the sec­ond lap some­one pushed me off onto the grass and I ended up spin­ning. That put me at the back, 20 sec­onds be­hind the lead­ers, but I got my head down and made up a cou­ple of places.”

More im­por­tant than the fi­nal race po­si­tion of 15th was the fact that Seb set the 11th best race lap.

Race two ran in front of live TV cam­eras on Sun­day and was full of ac­tion from the off.

“We were go­ing re­ally well in the early laps and man­aged to get up to 12th,” said Seb. “I was just about to over­take an­other car and went into the chi­cane just a lit­tle bit too quick and caught the kerb on the in­side.

“I saved the first part of it, but then it went the other way and got onto the grass and spun. Ev­ery­one went fly­ing past and then I just tried to catch as many peo­ple as I could. But the races are very short, so it’s very hard to come back from some­thing like that.”

His fi­nal po­si­tion, 20th, did not truly re­flect his speed.

“Over­all the pace has been good and we’re re­ally pleased with progress this week­end,” he said. “I’m ready for Thrux­ton now and we’ve done a cou­ple of tests there. There are two places you ab­so­lutely need to nail and then the rest of it is just flat out!”

The KICK Start En­ergy Ginetta Ju­nior Cham­pi­onship con­tin­ues at Thrux­ton (Hamp­shire) over the week­end of 9/10 May.

●● Seb Perez

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