Leg Three - Carlisle to Carlisle
Kick Energy rally driver Steve Perez and co driver Paul Spooner overcame the worst of the winter elements to climb into the top ten as day three of the Roger Albert Clark Rally saw them head north to Scotland.
Driving the unique BTR-prepared Lancia Stratos, Perez from Chesterfield and Welshman Spooner started the day in 14th place and they maintained that position through the classic tests of Ae and Twiglees as sporadic snow and ice made conditions treacherous.
However, courtesy of a string of top ten stage times starting at Heathhall and then again in the second run through Ae and Twiglees, the three-times British champion moved up the leaderboard into 11th and edged into the top ten after the second Heathhall stage prior to the first of the tricky Newcastleton stages in Kielder forest this evening.
Following the second test in Newcastleton, Perez set another top eight time meaning he goes into the final day of the rally just over a minute down on the ninth placed Guy Smith and Patrick Walsh but comfortably leading his class.
"Day three has been quite tough as the stages in Scotland are always difficult and they were made harder by a bit of snow and ice and we struggled with fog in the dark also. It's a bit of a contrast as this time last week I was rallying in shorts and a T-shirt yet here I am with my long johns and a woolly hat! We have made it into the top ten which was our aim and hopefully we can maintain that through tomorrow's two long stages. If we can, that will be a great achievement as it's been a busy couple of weeks for me and I'm really looking forward to doing nothing at all next weekend!" said Steve.
The final day tomorrow sees a major sting in the tail with a pair of long stages in Kershope before the finish in Carlisle tomorrow afternoon.
Please visit www.rogeralbertclarkrally.org for further information or follow Steve Perez Rallying on Facebook.
Roger Albert Clark Rally - Interim Results after SS22
1 Gwyndaf Evans/John Millington - Ford Escort RS - 2:26.08
2 David Stokes/Guy Weaver - Ford Escort RS 1600 - 2:33.15
3 Tim Pearcey/Neil Shanks - Ford Escort RS1800 - 2:34.32
4 Charlie Taylor/Steve Bielby - Ford Escort - 2:35.15
5 Guy Woodcock/Graham Dance - Ford Escort RS 2000 - 2:36.08
6 Keith Robathan/Phil Clarke - Ford Escort Mk II - 2:38.54
7 Phil Squires/Mick Squires - Ford Escort RS 1800 - 2:41.44
8 Christophe Jacob/Stephane Prevot - Ford Escort RS - 2:42.10
9 Guy Smith/Patrick Walsh - Ford Escort MK I - 2:42.24
10 Steve Perez/Paul Spooner - Lancia Stratos - 2:43.27