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StevePerez1Steve Perez and the stunning ‘Amigos Tequila Flavoured Beer’ Lancia Stratos will be one of the star attractions for fans on this year’s Roger Albert Clark Rally (28-30 November). Chesterfield-based Perez reckons that a new engine in the Stratos will sound sensational in the Kielder forest stages of Northumberland that make up a tough challenge on the Sunderland-based rally.

“The car now has a rare 24-valve Ferrari engine fitted developing around 280bhp at 11000rpm, which I’m sure will sound glorious in Kielder,” said Perez, who ran the new engine for the first time on the recent National section of Wales Rally GB. “We were unlucky to have a rear wheel hub fail on the first stage, but we were able to rejoin for day two and three and the new engine ran very well.”

Perez has been a loyal supporter of the Roger Albert Clark Rally since it started more than a decade ago. “This will be the tenth time I’ve done the rally in the Stratos and I contested the very first one in a Porsche 911 in 2004. I’m hoping to make it tenth time lucky with the Stratos. It’s a tough event this year with a quite a lot of competition in the dark, but I quite like competing in the dark and I did a lot of it in my earlier rallying career. The Roger Albert Clark is an iconic event and it’s a highlight of the season. I’m really looking forward to it.”

For his 2014 assault on one of his favourite rallies, Perez has enlisted the services of the most successful co-driver in the event’s history, John Millington.

“Due to work commitments my regular co-driver Paul Spooner is unable to compete this year,” said Perez. “So I contacted John with whom I competed on last year’s East African Safari Rally and we finished fourth overall.

“John is the most successful co-driver on the Roger Albert Clark with three wins, so hopefully he will guide me to a good result. It will be great reliving our Safari adventures on the road sections and hopefully we won’t have to worry too much about deep river crossings, giraffes or hitting elephant dung at high speed!”

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