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Chesterfield rally ace Steve Perez takes second overall at Rally Clásico Isla de Mallorca, but is chased down by son Seb who secures maiden rally podium in third.

Amigos Tequila Beer backed rally driver Steve Perez took his potent Lancia Stratos to an impressive second overall in last weekend’s Rally Clásico Isla de Mallorca (8-10th March) but was almost upstaged by son Seb, who took an emphatic third overall in his Ford Escort MK2, making it a two-three for the Perez family on the classic island event.

Steve, guided by co-driver Andy Bull headed to the Mediterranean as a warm up to the forthcoming Costa Brava Rally, opening round of the FIA European Historic Rally Championship. Only contesting a handful of events in the FIA calendar last season, he still managed 7th overall in the Cat2 section and would look to settle back into the potent 2.4litre Stratos over the course of the three day event.

Having recently announced a deal with Team Parker Racing to contest the Porsche Carrera Cup GB in an Amigos Tequila Beer backed 911 GT-3 in 2018, Seb would have to quickly adapt to the somewhat underpowered Pinto engined Ford Escort MK2. He would use the same steed which he drove in November’s Roger Albert Clark Rally for the twisty, mountainous roads on the island and he would be co-driven by Paul Spooner for the event.

After the ceremonial start in the host town of Puerto Portals, the opening leg of the event offered a two-stage blast over 18km of special stages with the added complication of being under the cover of darkness. But both crews would enjoy a solid start to the rally and headed into the overnight halt well inside the top ten.

The second day would house the bulk of the event mileage and 65km would be spread across six special stages. From the first test on Friday, the battle between the father and son pairing began in earnest, separated by just five seconds on the opener. Despite being only Seb’s second ever “proper” asphalt rally, stage eight saw his Ford beat the Stratos, meaning Seb would end the day in sixth and Steve in fourth overall.

The final day saw Steve make his move up the leader board, setting a string of top three times over the opening loop in the morning. A fastest overall time on stage 14, set him up for a solid final two stages to cross the finish ramp in an impressive third spot.

Not to be outdone, Seb was on a charge too, with four top three times over the closing stages he climbed from fifth overall to take the final podium spot.

Steve was delighted with the weekend and having his son alongside him on the podium.

“It’s been a fantastic event and I’ve loved taking the Stratos through these stunning roads here in Mallorca” he said.

“The Lancia didn’t miss a beat all weekend which is a credit to DANSPORT who look after the car and it’s a good job I was on form as well actually, I had to watch my mirrors towards the end didn’t I? Seriously though, it was a great way to warm up for Costa Brava next weekend and to have Seb do so well was really a proud moment. He is learning that car really quickly and has certainly got the measure of it now, I’m pleased for him.”

Seb was equally happy with his performance on the island.

“I’ve only driven this car (Escort) a handful of times now but I really feel at home behind the wheel and that shows in the stage times as the event progressed” said Seb.

“I won’t lie, I did have one eye on beating my Dad and although that was a huge challenge, beating him in the eighth stage will ensure I’ll have some bragging rights for some time to come. Taking a class win made it all worthwhile but a podium was really a bonus. I’m eager to have more outings in the Escort when my Porsche calendar allows but I need to concentrate on that for the next few weeks. Having said that, we have an entry in for Salamandre in April which will be a great event in the MK2”.

Steve and Seb are backed by Amigos Tequila Beer and Simpson Race Products.

Image credits SitoRally

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