Chesterfield's Seb Perez increases championship lead
Chesterfield driver Seb Perez overcame a first race collision to secure an impressive double-podium at Silverstone last weekend (15th/16th September), increasing his lead in the ProAm category of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB with just two rounds remaining.
He capitalised on his opening race third place to take his sixth victory of the season in race two at the Northamptonshire circuit, meaning he now holds a seven-point lead over his nearest rival with only Brands Hatch left on the calendar.
Perez has been the model of progression in the sport and has spent time learning his craft, stepping from the Ginetta Junior Championship, to the GT4 Supercup and into the Carrera Cup in 2018. His graduation into the 911 GT3 has been a success and despite a tough start to the year, has become the one to beat in the ProAm category this season.
Yet another super-close qualifying session on Saturday saw the top ten grid positions separated by just over half a second and although Perez topped the category timesheet for much of the session, he could only salvage third ProAm within the 30 minutes on offer.
This would mean an almost inevitable mid-pack tussle would ensue for the opening lap in race one on Sunday morning. Sadly, as the nose-to-tail group were about to complete the opening tour, Perez and rival Jamie Orton collided sending both spinning to the back of the field.
It would be a tough ask for the Amigos pilot to claw back enough places to grab valuable points, let alone a podium but Perez set about doing just that. By lap four, he had made his way from 22nd to 16th and was showing no sign of letting up in his quest for a ProAm podium. By lap 18, he had disposed of a further six rivals to grab the third ProAm spot and held his own to remain there until the flag dropped on lap 28.
Race two would be slightly less frantic, but equally as tough for the Team Parker Racing driver who would once again start in third ProAm. It would go considerably better on the opening tour this time and by the time he started lap two, second place was his. With the bit between his teeth, Perez hunted down the leader and by the third trip around the Silverstone circuit, he had taken control of the category.
It wouldn’t be easy to retain however as title challenger Dan Vaughan was closing in and Perez would have to work hard to keep his ProAm lead. It was a tense handful of laps as the two tussled, confounded further when Pro runner Will Bratt made contact with Perez on lap 13.
This allowed Vaughan to close up once again, but Perez kept his nerve to take the chequered flag and another ProAm victory. Even a slowing down lap puncture couldn’t derail his efforts.
“That feels great to add yet another victory to the CV and in a relatively straightforward race too,” said Perez at the finish podium.
“I got a little held up behind Will (Bratt) which meant I was being forced back into the clutches of Dan (Vaughan) which was less than ideal and kept it closer than I’d like, otherwise I should have been well up the road.
“We have had some good pace this weekend as well which is a real confidence boost, although that puncture over the finish line meant it’s been a long run back to the podium to get the trophy.
“This win has certainly been vital to my championship hopes and it’s just so close at the top (of the championship standings) at the moment, every point counts. Let’s hope we can seal the deal at Brands.”
Perez now heads to the final meeting in two weeks’ time with a seven-point lead in the ProAm category, and second place in the Rookie standings with Amigos Team Parker Racing maintaining second in the Entrant Championship