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Kick Energy rally driver Steve Perez took a creditable third place on yesterday’s Lewis and Hunter Contracting Cambrian Rally, despite only using the event as a shakedown for next week’s Wales Rally GB.

Along with Welsh co-driver Paul Spooner, the pair were out in the ex Marcus Gronholm 2007 Ford Focus WRC, and even though the main purpose of competing on the Llandudno-based event was a test in preparation for Britain’s World Championship round, Perez was lying in third position after the first stage. On stage two, the Chesterfield ace took a stage win, stopping the clocks three seconds ahead of his rivals despite being on unfamiliar control tyres.

All was going well until the final stage of the day when Steve slid wide on a bend clipping a rock at the side of the road. The impact broke the wheel rim and caused minor damage to the rear suspension, however, the pair were able to make it to the end of the stage without dropping too much time and claim the final step on the podium.

After the event Steve commented: “I’m really pleased with how it has gone this weekend, it was good to compare times with the likes of Hirvonen and Ostberg even though we had not done the recce and we were on control tyres. I am really pleased with a podium finish as I was being cautious today and didn’t want to damage the car, all in all it’s been a great shakedown and I’m really looking forward to Rally GB next week.”

1. Mads Ostberg/Jonas Andersson (Subaru Impreza WRC) 0:42:56
2. Hugh Hunter/Andy Marchbank (Ford Escort WRC) 0:44:48
3. Steve Perez/Paul Spooner (Ford Focus WRC) 0:45:05
4. Nasser Al-Attiyah/Giovanni Bernnacchini (Subaru Impreza) 0:46:11
5. Michael O’Brien/Patrick Walsh (Ford Focus WRC) 0:46:53
6. Alex Allingham/Mark Glennerster (Subaru Impreza) 0:47:37
7. Thomas Naughton/Horace Saville (Mitsubishi Evo9) 0:47:42
8. Tim Pearcey/Robin Hernaman (Mitsubishi Lancer) 0:47:47
9. Ieuan Rowlands/Kelvin Savage (Ford Escort) 0:47:57
10. Nigel Griffiths/Josh Burton (Subaru Impreza) 0:48:09

Picture of Steve Perez in action, courtesy of www.cmwi..net.

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