It will be a case of like father, like son this weekend when Chesterfield’s Perez motorsport family take to the forests to compete in a prestigious rally event.
Dad Steve Perez, and 18-year-old son Seb, will tackle the mud and tricky conditions of the four-day Roger Albert Clark (RAC) Rally, which starts tomorrow (Friday) and finishes on Monday at Kielder Waterside in Northumberland.
Steve has been a rally driver for more than 20 years now, while Seb has progressed from rallying to circuit racing and has just completed an excellent debut campaign in the Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup Championship.
They will start in two different rally cars, with Steve in his stunning Lancia Stratos HF, which was specially built to contest this event many years ago and is sure to thrill fans, and Seb in a Ford Escort Mk2 that he got used to when he competed in the Dayinsure Wales Rally GB last month.
The Clark event, which dates back to 2004, recreates the famous RAC Rallies of the 1970s and is named after the famous rally driver, Roger Clark, who was the first Briton to win a World Rally Championship event when he triumphed at the 1978 RAC Rally.
Competitors are limited to vehicles released before 1982, and as well as well-known stages in the Welsh forests, the race’s route traces stages in Scotland and northern England that are no longer part of the modern itinerary.
Steve, who has been a loyal supporter of the event for some time, said: “Lots of people still talk about the old RAC Rally. This rally has a great format, and while in Europe, I have told many people about it.
“It will be one of Seb’s first major gravel rallies in the Escort. He has followed me doing it in the Stratos for many years, and he’s really excited about doing it himself.”
Before heading into Wales, the cars will tackle two special stages on the famous Shelshley Walsh hill-climb course at Worcester. The event will then comprise 44 miles in Wales tomorrow, 95 miles in southern Kielder on Saturday, 94 miles in Scotland on Sunday and a final sting in the tail of 68 miles in the central block of Kielder on Monday morning.
The concluding leg will feature two 20-mile stages and two 12-mile stages, making it the longest special-stage rally in Britain for 22 years.
The two Perez cars will be sponsored over the weekend by Steve’s Global Brands independent drinks business, based in Chesterfield, and by Amigos tequila flavoured beer.