Following on from his victory on the Woodpecker Stages Rally twelve months ago which sealed the 2010 BTRDA Rally Series, Kick Energy rally driver Steve Perez was back in action and hoping for a repeat of the success but it wasn’t to be after a puncture ruined his chances on the Ludlow-based event today.

Making a rare appearance in the Ford Focus WRC, the Chesterfield driver along with co-driver Carl Williamson were soon into their stride and after setting fifth fastest time on the day’s first stage, they upped the pace to hold third after the third of seven tests in the penultimate round of the 2011 Silverstone Tyres BTRDA Rally Series.

But very early on into the 8.3-mile SS4, they ran wide on a corner and the resultant front puncture meant they had to stop and change the wheel which dropped them over eight minutes and with it any chance of victory.

Undeterred, Perez valiantly continued and with a series of top six times, managed to claw himself up from 98th position after SS4 to a little bit more respectable 60th overall at the finish.

Perez commented: “It’s only the second time I’ve used the car this year and it took a little getting used to again and it also took a little while for Carl and I to get up to speed on the pacenotes too. All was going well when I ran wide and punctured just a short way into the fourth stage and with over seven miles to go, we knew we had to stop and change the wheel. I must admit, I was a bit rusty doing that as I’ve not had to change a wheel since the last East African Safari Rally two years ago! But we decided to battle on and see how far we could get back up the leaderboard and in the end, I was happy with my times.”

Full details and results of the Woodpecker Stages are available on at www.woodpecker-rally.co.uk

Photo courtesy of Simon Clarke: Steve Perez and Carl Williamson in action on the Woodpecker Stages Rally

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