Seb Perez showed tremendous determination to finish just outside the top 10 during rounds five and six of the KICK Start Energy Ginetta Junior Championship at Thruxton over the weekend (9/10 May).
The Chesterfield-based teenager was racing at the high-speed track for the first time in a fiercely competitive field for the Ginetta Junior Championship, which is contested by 14 to 17 year-old racers. His race programme is supported by Morris Lubricants.
Despite being an innocent party in the accident that forced him out of the first race, Seb fought back strongly in the second race to fight up from 22nd place on the grid and finish a tremendous 11th overall, recording his best finish to date this season.
Qualifying at the dauntingly fast track was a tough baptism for Seb as he prepared to race at the Hampshire track for the first time. Without the slipstream from another car to help find the maximum speed, Seb was really up against it and ended the session 18th fastest in the very competitive field.
Sadly, his race was over after only two laps. Into the Club chicane, the car of Lewis Brown spun and came to a halt sideways across the track. Seb was tucked close in behind Kyle Hornby and when Hornby jinked to the right to avoid the stranded car, Seb had no time to take avoiding action. The result was a hefty impact that put Seb out of the race and meant starting last on the grid for race two.
"I just had nowhere to go," confirmed the unlucky Seb. He was completely unharmed as the driver safety systems worked as intended. However, his car had taken a hefty impact and the JHR team faced a big rush to get it repaired in time for the second race, three hours later.
However, a mighty team effort had the car ready for the second race and Seb repaid the team’s effort by fighting right up to 11th place despite two safety car periods.
“That was a really good race,” said Seb. “I started right at the back of the grid and almost got into the top 10. It’s been a massive learning weekend and Thruxton is a really tough circuit. But I’m very happy with the way the weekend has finished. The JHR team did an amazing job to get the car ready. I’m now looking forward to Oulton Park in June!”
Before the next Ginetta race, Seb will switch disciplines to co-drive for his father Steve on the McRae Rally Challenge in memory of Colin McRae at the Knockhill circuit in Scotland (16/17 May). They will compete in Steve’s Ford Focus WRC and it will be Seb’s first taste of co-driving.
The KICK Start Energy Ginetta Junior Championship continues at Oulton Park (Cheshire) over the weekend of 6/7 June.