Double Header Finale at Brands Hatch for Perez
16 year old Ginetta race car driver Seb Perez from Chesterfield travels to Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit this weekend for the last two races of the season, rounds 24 and 25 of the Simpson Race Products Ginetta Junior Championship.
He started his second full season in the race series for youngsters back in April this year and has seen him in action at 10 very demanding race circuits across the Country including Donington Park and Oulton Park in a very busy race year for him.
His last outing at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in April saw him finish Round One of the series in 11th position and better it to 10th in Round Two the second race in the 2016 season openers.
A sensational race weekend was had by Perez at Rockingham a few weeks ago where he took a 5th place and 2 podium 3rd places. Previous to that he took a first place win at Knockhill in Scotland.
Two weeks ago we saw Perez in action in a three race programme at Silverstone in Northamptonshire, well on track before racing had even started.
Free practice the day before saw Seb keeping in the top 10 out of the pack of 20 cars and topping speeds of over 90mph.
Qualifying on Saturday morning saw him have a fantastic 15 minute session with his fastest lap on 9 out of 10 laps placing him in 3rd position for his first race a little later during the day, he was only 0.403 seconds behind pole position man and JHR Developments team mate Sebastian Priaulx.
After qualifying Seb commented:-
“We had a tricky start to a drying circuit after rain earlier and being on a more dry set up made it harder, as time went on we got faster and pleased with a third place.”
Race one saw Seb line up on the second row of the grid, as the lights went out Perez got a good start but by the first corner at Copse there were a lot of contact and he got pushed wide down the back straight and lost ground at Becketts finishing lap one in 11th position.
By the end of lap 2 he had made up twp places into 9th place and a battle commenced between Perez, Tom Wood and Gerri Nicosia for the next 3 laps before being overtaken by rookie driver Harry Dyson who held Seb out for 2 laps pushing him into 10th place.
Good positioning and a good move on lap 8 saw Seb back into 8th position for 3 laps where he stayed to take the chequered flag in eighth.
After race one he said:-
“After the coming together’s at Copse I was pushed out wide, I was a sitting duck it seemed as if the world was passing me, but we managed to get some places back.”
Race two saw Perez in 8th place and row 4 for the start, he seemed a little apprehensive and knew that a podium wasn’t to be on the cards.
Needless to say by end of the first lap Perez was in 5th place, by lap three he had made it into third with first place swapping and changing all the time between Tom King and Lewis Brown and Seb putting the pressure on them for a second place. Perez took a blistering fastest lap of the race on lap five at over 78mph.
He maintained third place until lap 8 struggling with the pace, dropping a place or two to finish overhaul in 7th place.
“I was happy with a fastest lap of the race, I knew a podium wasn’t on the cards but held a good battle for third pushing both King and Brown.
“I struggled at the end to continue the pace all the way through and the odd person got through.”
Final race of the weekend on Sunday saw Perez completing the 11 lap race starting on the Fourth row and 7th on the grid.
The first lap saw him drop two places to 9th after getting overtaken by rookies Dan Harper and Tom Wood and by end of lap two the place had been reversed with Perez now in 8th again gaining the place back from Wood and hot on the heels of Harper. He kept the position until lap 5,
Shortly after the safety car was deployed after Johnson ended up in the gravel, as the lights went out on the safety car the tightly grouped up pack made a dash pushing Perez back down to 10th, by lap 10 he had made up a position finishing the race in 9th.
After the weekend Perez commented:-
“After a good qualifying race one didn’t help, It was a tricky weekend and not ideal.”
“Onto Brands Hatch, our last two races of the season, I enjoy the GP Circuit and one of the best in the Country, its a quite demanding circuit and enjoy the GP loop and its fast. We only get a short test on Friday then straight into qualifying on Saturday morning”
Perez leaves Rockingham in 10th position in the championship with 293 points after a mixed weekend.