Rally legend Russell Brookes will compete on this year's Bulldog Historic Rally in a Porsche owned by former National and Historic champion, Steve Perez.
The deal came about due to a chance remark made by Brookes on stage at the Bulldog Rally's 50th birthday forum in October 2008. Russell was extolling the virtues of rallying a Porsche when fellow panellist, Perez, promptly offered him the use of his historic rally Porsche for this year's event.
Always a gentleman of his word, Perez has since contacted Brookes and arranged for him to drive the car on the Wolverhampton and South Staffordshire Car Club's event, which is the season opener for the British Historic Rally Championship.
The Porsche that Brookes will drive will be '15VK', the 1967 911S that Perez drove to win the British Historic Rally Championship in 2003. Previous to this it had won the Killarney Historic Rally in Steve's hands in 2002.
"It is quite a precious little car that is very close to my heart," admitted Perez. "However, I have admired Russell Brookes as one of the greatest British rally drivers of all times. I enjoyed watching him when I was a boy - that shows you how young I am! It is a great privilege to have such a legendary driver competing in my car."
Brookes will have his former co-driver Neil Wilson alongside for this event. Wilson was Russell's regular co-driver from 1988 to 1991 and together they won the 1988 Audi Sport International Rally (forerunner of the Bulldog) in a Ford Sierra Cosworth and the 1990 event in a Ford Sapphire Cosworth. Russell also won the event as far back as 1976 in a Ford Escort Mexico co-driven by John Brown.
With three event wins under his bonnet, Brookes is already one of the most successful drivers in the long history of the event, which had its 50th birthday last year. He currently shares this honour with Malcolm Wilson, who also has three wins in 1984, 1993 and 1994.
"It is fantastic of Steve to loan me this wonderful car, I cannot thank him enough,” Brookes continued. “The car will run under the VK banner. Dunlop are kindly supporting us and we have some additional support, for old times sake, from elsewhere so I am really looking forward to the event which features some of my favourite stages which are always a joy to drive."