Chesterfield driver Steve Perez and Welsh co-driver Paul Spooner took a well-earned runner-up placing on this weekend’s Woodpecker Stages Rally to continue their quest for the 2014 REIS BTRDA Rally Series title.
Driving the ex-Marcus Gronholm Kick Energy Ford Focus WRC07, Perez saw his bid for victory hampered by a broken handbrake on the opening stage and after two stages, was 14 seconds down on friend and rival Paul Bird in a similar car.
The triple British and Historic Rally Champion hit back on SS3 to reduce Bird’s lead but in the second half of the event, Perez, who has won the Somerset Stages as well as the Dukeries rallies this year, settled for a safe second place knowing a number of his title rivals had suffered misfortune on the event.
The rally also marked a poignant tribute to former World Champion Bjorn Waldegard, who died recently, and who was a friend and associate of Steve’s, and also drove the Kick Energy and Amigos-backed Lancia Stratos on some events.
What it also means is that Perez is right in the mix for championship honours given the dropped scores points system and with a good string of results over the final two rounds, including next month’s Nicky Grist Stages, he can seriously challenge for the BRTDA crown he last won in 2010.
“We had a problem with the handbrake on the opening stage which set us back and although we beat Birdy on SS3, we had to settle for second place this weekend. The result keeps us well in the hunt for the title and it’s looking increasingly likely that it’s going to be a battle between Paul and I so all is still to play for on the last two rounds. We also wanted to pay tribute to Bjorn Waldegard who sadly passed away recently so I’d like to dedicate this result to him as he was a good friend and one of my rallying heroes.”
1. Paul Bird/Aled Davies – Ford Focus 07 WRC – 0:41:33
2. Steve Perez/Paul Spooner – Ford Focus – 0:42:00
3. Luke Francis/John H Roberts – Mitsubishi Evo IX – 0:42:32
4. David Weston/Kirsty Riddick – Subaru Impreza WRC – 0:42:34
5. Alex Allingham/Chris Williams – Subaru Impreza N10 – 0:43:35
6. Jamie Anderson/Jon Scott – Mitsubishi Evo IX – 0:43:38
Further information is available by following Steve Perez Rallying on Facebook at www.facebook.com/steve.perezrallying and on Twitter @steveperezrallying. For further information on the company’s products, including Amigos beer, please visit www.globalbrands.co.uk and the team’s official rally website is www.steveperez.co.uk.
Picture attached: Picture attached (courtesy of Stuart Woodier) Steve Perez and Paul Spooner in action on the Woodpecker Rally.