Perez is all out of luck at Thruxton
MOTOR SPORT PAUL HORTON
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.