Perez is all out of luck at Thrux­ton

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MAC­CLES­FIELD’S Seb Perez had a mixed week­end of suc­cess and mis­for­tune at Thrux­ton just over a week ago, and was out to make his mark at the cir­cuit.

This was the 16 year olds lat­est at­tack the Ginetta G40 race car in the Simp­son Race Prod­ucts Ginetta Ju­nior Cham­pi­onship, which is con­tested by 14 to 17 year-old rac­ers.

Perez, a stu­dent from Kings School in Mac­cles­field was fol­lowed closely on his lat­est out­ing at Thrux­ton by ITV 4 live who tele­vised both of his races at the Hamp­shire cir­cuit.

Perez, son of Ch­ester- field’s en­tre­pre­neur and rally driver Steve Perez, was de­ter­mined to have a bet­ter week­end than his last one at Don­ing­ton Park where he suf­fered car prob­lems re­sult­ing in two bent valves and brake is­sues.

Ahead of the rac­ing at Thrux­ton, Perez said of his Team JHR De­vel­op­ments: “The team have done a crack­ing job get­ting the car sorted af­ter the dis­ap­point­ments at Don­ing­ton and should now per­form well for the rest of the sea­son.”

His week­end started with a de­cent free prac­tice ses­sion, fin­ish­ing 12th only to find his time dis­al­lowed for ex­ceed­ing track lim­its.

Qual­i­fy­ing was a to­tally dif­fer­ent af­fair and Perez could not have wished for any bet­ter. The 15-minute ses­sion saw him out­run ev­ery other driver on the cir­cuit. On lap 3, Perez took fastest lap of 1:31.899s and a speed of 92.29mph to take his maiden pole po­si­tion in the cham­pi­onship by one thou­sandth of a sec­ond from Stu­art Mid­dle­ton, who leads the stand­ings.

This made Perez the 13th dif­fer­ent race set­ter in 13 meet­ings.

“Qual­i­fy­ing went well and to plan, it proved the car is­sues had been re­solved and at the fastest cir­cuit on the race cal­en­dar,” said Perez.

Race one saw Perez in pole po­si­tion and in charge of the pack of 19 cars be­hind him.

A good start off the line saw him pull away well and for the first time in his rac­ing ca­reer he led a ju­nior race but it was short lived, drop­ping to sec­ond as he was over­took by Stu­art Mid­dle­ton.

On com­plet­ing lap one, Perez was “Black Flagged” and or­dered a drive through penalty for jump­ing the start. On leav­ing the pits from this he had dropped back to 19th po­si­tion from sec­ond by lap three.

De­ter­mined as ever by lap four he had took fastest lap with a speed of 91.71mph and in 18th place where he stayed for the rest of the race, keep­ing the mo­men­tum up and gain­ing a best race speed of up to 106.8mph, fin­ish­ing 18th, still a suc­cess but po­ten­tial podium place would have been on the cards.

Perez com­mented: “It was a good race with some good times and speeds.”

Race two of the week­end saw Perez start from row nine on the grid along­side rookie driver Enzo Fit­ti­paldi.

Af­ter a good start on the first lap he gained es­sen­tial places just be­fore Sea­grave cor­ner, where Fit­ti­paldi tapped into an un­sighted Perez, caus­ing his car to flick and a ma­jor hit of Max Bird’s Ginetta, both Bird and Perez re­tir­ing.

Bird’s car sus­tained big front end dam­age and due to the im­pact with the tyre wall it had bent Perez’s wheel. The safety car was de­ployed and his race was over. A rac­ing in­ci­dent with no one at fault.

Af­ter the race, Perez said: “Things didn’t go the way we planned and I should have made a top ten place eas­ily.”

He left Thrux­ton with 34 points in the cham­pi­onship in 17th po­si­tion

Perez still has a long way to go un­til the end of the sea­son in 18 races’ time at the be­gin­ning of Oc­to­ber.

As a sup­port race to the pop­u­lar Bri­tish Tour­ing Car Cham­pi­onship, Perez is all ready for the next round of the Simp­son Race Prod­ucts Ginetta Ju­nior Cham­pi­onship for the week­end of 4-5th June at his lo­cal cir­cuit Oul­ton Park.

You can fol­low him and all the ac­tion on race days on ITV 4 where all his races are tele­vised live.

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