Perez shows great powers of recovery
MOTOR SPORT PAUL HORTON
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’
●● Seb Perez runs into a spot of trouble at Thruxton but the 15-year-old recovered well to finish 11th overall
●● Seb Perez