Former ANCRO champion Steve Perez was left rueing his luck as the changeable weather conditions hampered his bid for honours when round four of the 2009 Pirelli MSA Gravel Rally Championship took place with the Manx Telecom Rally.

Driving the Kick Energy-sponsored Ford Focus WRC07, along with replacement co-driver Stephen McAuley, the Chesterfield driver fell foul of a number of incorrect tyre choices but despite this, he managed to claim fifth position overall to record his best result on the Isle of Man to date.

As well as the tyre issues, Perez suffered from a gear selection problem late on but held on to claim an important third place in the ANCRO standings to maintain his championship bid.

"Whatever tyres I chose always seemed to be the wrong ones as it would either be drier than we were expecting or else it would start raining on the way into the stages!" he said. "It was a little frustrating but I'm happy enough with the result, the only downer being that because Paul Bird won, as I'm in for an expensive night!"

The result sees Perez move up to sixth place in the championship standings and despite missing the next round of the series which clashes with his annual outing in Rally Barbados, he is still well placed going into the second half of the season.

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