Delight for Perez pairing as they win gruelling Italy rally

Seb and Steve Perez in action in Italy. Photo: Canossa Events Srl.Seb and Steve Perez in action in Italy. Photo: Canossa Events Srl.
Seb and Steve Perez in action in Italy. Photo: Canossa Events Srl.
​Chesterfield father and son duo Steve and Seb Perez have again been in great form on the Modena Cento Ore Classic in Italy.

The pair led the event from start to finish and were fastest on all stages over the test that took in the most characterful race circuits in the Italian motorsport, as well as some of the most demanding Italian tarmac roads to rally on with Italy’s most fascinating landscapes on the way.

Armed with their new race weapon of choice and used for the first time was the classic 1975 #49 Amigos-sponsored Lancia Stratos HF GR4 rally car, the rally-winning famous car that dad Steve and Chesterfield Rally experts Dansport had rebuilt from the ashes after it was destroyed in by fire during the re-fuelling incident where Steve was severely burnt after it burst into flames in Belgium in 2018.

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The prestigious 182km central Italy-based rally started at Orbetello and featured ten special stages, three circuit races and a super special stage to end the rally in Modena, hometown of Enzo Ferrari.

The first test was GP1 Autodromo di Vallelunga Circuit. Seb put the Stratos through its paces on track and took the flag in first spot some 19 seconds over the second place Porsche of Kris Rosenberger and Niki Bleicher.

Next up was SS1 Cura di Vetrella, a 7.41km stage of boiling tarmac with Seb at the wheel and Steve reading the pace notes. They completed the section in first spot and extended their lead overall in the event.

The last stage of the day was SS2 Manciano, 8.31km of early evening sunshine and fantastic countryside saw the duo in number one slot and extend their rally lead.

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Day Two saw SS3 Scansano, the longest road section of the rally and SS4 Monte Amiata. They completed both with ease in third and fourth place respectively.

Seb was ready and waiting to tackle the GP2 Autodromo dell'Umbria / Magione, won by Rosenberger and Bleicher, with Perez taking the flag in P2.

Leg three saw the start of the morning at SS5 Passo dello Spino, 6.87km of fast and twisty tarmac, and they finished it in second place just under 0.4seconds off the lead with speeds of over 100kph.

SS6 Croce ai Mori went well for the pair, a P1 slot and a 4.1 second lead over Rosenberger and Bleicher who’d been chasing them on and off since day one.

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An 8-lap blast for Seb around the GP3 Autodromo del Mugello in 8:55.4s saw him take the flag extending the overall rally lead by 13 minutes.

On the final day, SS7 Passo del Giogo and SS8 Monte Faggiola saw the Perez pair fastest over both stages. By the end of Special Stage 8 they had extended their lead in the rally by one and a half minutes.

The penultimate stage was the 7.47km long SS9 Sambuca stage, a difficult last stage and that they finished in seventh place but still hanging onto the lead in the rally.

Last stage of the rally was SS10 SSS Autodromo di Modena, a mad dash of just under three laps and 5.86km of the famous Modena race circuit. The Perez boys were off the mark again and had to settle finishing it in fifth place, but they were in the right place still to take the overall win on the gruelling four-day event.

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The outright win of leading the event from start to finish saw them scoop the Post-1965 Competition Class G/H/I trophy, also taking top spot in the win of the Special Stages and also took accolades for the best time on the Special Stages.

*The success in Italy quickly followed Seb Perez taking title honours in the Peter Cup 2 Litre Cup Classic Championship at Circuito-do-Estoril in Portugal.

He had smashed the last four rounds of the European single make pre-66 Porsche 911 2-litre short wheelbase championship, to finish the final Estoril round on the podium in third to take the crown.

The winning car was his dad Steve Perez’s 2003 British Historic Rally Championship winning car from 20 years ago, now turned historic endurance race car.

It was a double whammy for Perez, as he took first place driving a 1963 Shelby Cobra 289 with Philip Kadoore, his teammate for both races, in the Sixties Endurance test also.