Kick Energy rally driver Steve Perez finally got his hands on a winner’s trophy when he took a well deserved victory in the Historic class on the annual SOL Rally Barbados at the weekend.

Driving the Dansport-prepared Porsche 911 RSR and along with Welsh co driver Paul Spooner, the reigning BTRDA Champions finished nearly two minutes ahead of nearest rivals Andrew Siddall and Carl Williamson in their Ford Escort Mk2 on the annual Caribbean island event with South African Geoff Bell and Kenyan co driver Tim Challen in third.

After getting used to driving a two-wheel drive car on the tricky and slippery lanes as opposed to his normal Ford Focus WRC which he normally contests the rally in, the crew altered settings to improve the car’s handling on Saturday and by Sunday, Perez, the former British Historic and National Champion, was soon setting fastest stage times as he marched up the leaderboard.

Perhaps more importantly for Perez than the actual victory, he racked up maximum points in the self-appointed ‘G-WRC’ which he is contesting this season along with a handful of other drivers. Standing for ‘Gentleman’s World Rally Class’, it’s been hatched by Perez along with fellow competitors Andrew Siddall and Geoff Bell whereby they will all contest events such as Rally Barbados, Geko Ypres, the Midnight Sun, East African Safari Classic and culminating in the Roger Albert Clark Rally with the best placed driver winning a case of finest champagne, funded by the two losers!

Whilst Perez was victorious, the battle in the ‘G-WRC’ between Siddall and Bell went right to the wire with Siddall getting the verdict by less than a second after over one and a quarter hours worth of competitive driving!

Prior to sampling some of the island’s finest rum at the prizegiving, Perez commented: “I’ve been coming here for many years so it’s great to get my hands on a winner’s trophy at last! OK, it’s not the overall victory that I’ve challenged for in the past but this is every bit as sweet. The car ran faultlessly and I have to thank the Dansport team as they did a wonderful job with a brand new car, all three of the team’s cars reached the finish without any problems.”

He continued: “Also, I’m delighted to take victory in the G-WRC after Andrew Siddall and Geoff Bell both beat me on Rallye Mallorca but it couldn’t have been a closer finish between them! I said I was hoping to reverse the result here and we did! What’s more, we are getting a lot of interest from both competitors and organisers alike so it’s really taking off and you never know where it might end up. The next event we are doing is the Midnight Sun Rally in Sweden so we will all resume battle then.”

It’s back to domestic action next for Perez and Spooner with the Rainworth Skoda Dukeries Rally this forthcoming Saturday whereby the 2010 Gold Star Champions will be aiming to emulate their victory of last year in the Ford Focus WRC.

Perez’s plans are for a selected number of events which will see him competing on a number of foreign events in 2011. Visits to Spa, Mallorca and Barbados already are to be followed by visits to Ypres, Flanders and the Midnight Sun Rally which will be highlighted with another attempt at the East African Safari Classic Rally in November followed by the season-ending Roger Albert Clark Rally in December.

Picture courtesy of Himal Reece (www.JustBajan.com). Steve Perez and Paul Spooner in action on the SOL Rally Barbados at the weekend.

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