Perez shows great pow­ers of re­cov­ery

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MACCLESFIELD’S Seb Perez showed tremen­dous de­ter­mi­na­tion to bounce back from an ac­ci­dent to fin­ish just out­side the top 10 dur­ing rounds five and six of the KICK Start En­ergy Ginetta Ju­nior Cham­pi­onship at Thrux­ton.

Perez, the 15-year-old stu­dent from King’s School in Macclesfield, was in com­pe­ti­tion at the cir­cuit for the first time in the Ginetta Ju­nior Cham­pi­onship, which is con­tested by 14 to 17 year-old rac­ers.

The Ch­ester­field-born teenager and son of the 2014 BTRDA Gold Star Rally Cham­pion Steve Perez is sup­ported by Mor­ris Lu­bri­cants.

Perez made the tran­si­tion from ral­ly­ing and fol­lowed in fa­ther’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.

Forced out of race one in an ac­ci­dent that wasn’t his fault at Thrux­ton, Seb fought back strongly in the sec­ond race to fight up from 22nd place on the grid and fin­ish 11th over­all, record­ing his best fin­ish to date this sea­son.

Qual­i­fy­ing at Thrux­ton was tough for Seb, he had only tested pre­vi­ously at the cir­cuit as he pre­pared to race at the Hamp­shire track for the first time.

With­out the slip­stream from an­other car to help find the max­i­mum speed, Seb was re­ally up against it and ended the ses­sion 18th fastest in the very com­pet­i­tive field.

Sadly, his race was over af­ter only two laps.

Into the Club chi­cane, the car of Lewis Brown spun and came to a halt side­ways across the track.

Seb was tucked close in be­hind Kyle Hornby and when Hornby jinked to the right to avoid the stranded car, Seb had no time to take avoid­ing ac­tion.

The re­sult was a hefty im­pact that put him out of the race and meant start­ing last on the grid for race two.

“I just had nowhere to go,” con­firmed the un­lucky Seb, who was com­pletely un­harmed as the driver safety sys­tems worked as in­tended.

How­ever, his car had taken a hefty im­pact and the JHR team faced a big rush to get it re­paired in time for the sec­ond race, three hours later.

All team ef­forts were put into get­ting the car ready for the sec­ond race and Seb re­paid the hard graft by fight­ing right up to 11th place de­spite two safety car pe­ri­ods.

“That was a re­ally good race,” said Seb af­ter­wards.

“I started right at the back of the grid and al­most got into the top ten. It’s been a mas­sive learn­ing week­end and Thrux­ton is a re­ally tough cir­cuit.

“But I’m very happy with the way the week­end has fin­ished.

“The JHR team did an amaz­ing job to get the car ready. I’m now look­ing for­ward to Oul­ton Park in June!”

Perez’s next Ginetta out­ing is at lo­cal cir­cuit Oul­ton Park where he hopes to get a lot of lo­cal sup­port, but be­fore that he was sched­uled to switch dis­ci­plines to co-drive for his fa­ther Steve on the McRae Rally Chal­lenge in mem­ory of the World fa­mous Colin McRae at the Knock­hill cir­cuit in Scot­land.

They will com­pete in Steve’s Ford Fo­cus WRC and it will be Seb’s first taste of co-driv­ing.

The KICK Start En­ergy Ginetta Ju­nior Cham­pi­onship con­tin­ues at Oul­ton Park (Cheshire) over the week­end of 6/7 June.

‘I started at the back of the grid and al­most got into the top ten’

Paul Hor­ton

●● Seb Perez runs into a spot of trou­ble at Thrux­ton but the 15-year-old re­cov­ered well to fin­ish 11th over­all

Paul Hor­ton

●● Seb Perez

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