Kick Energy driver Steve Perez may not have won this year's SOL Rally Barbados, but he came away as a champion nonetheless after a memorable weekend on the Caribbean island.
Following on his fourth place finish on the 'King of the Hill' rallysprint, the Ford Focus RS WRC 05 driver was hoping for victory on the two-day main event, and was well placed inside the top ten in the opening stages when he suffered a problem on the fourth stage - Canefield South 2 - which meant he lost an irretrievable eleven minutes and dropped to 71st overall.
Having gained an affinity with the Bajans over the years, rather than try to make up the lost time or retire, he decided that he would spend the rest of the rally entertaining the crowds so, at every conceivable opportunity, especially at the packed Bushy Park spectator stage, he did a series of 'donuts' before eventually finishing in 36th place overall.
"I'm really disappointed to have missed out on fighting for a podium position on such a great event," Perez admitted, "We had been setting top five times when the fly-by-wire motor that controls the throttle failed in the fourth stage, costing us eleven minutes.
"It's been a really fantastic rally from start to finish, in a great part of the world and we've thoroughly enjoyed entertaining the massive crowds who turned out on the event. Judging by the cheers and the fact that everyone was waving, I think they enjoyed us entertaining them in our own spectacular way. I think I enjoyed doing that almost as much as winning the rally!"