Steve Perez and co-driver Staffan Parmander have finished in third position after completing the final day of the 2009 Kenya Airways East African Safari Classic Rally.
Driving the BTR-prepared historic-specification Datsun 260Z, Perez arrived at the Mombasa finish following the final three stages of the epic ten-day adventure, much to his delight and that of his hard working team.
However, the day wasn't without problems and despite avoiding a single puncture throughout the whole event; the crew suffered a double puncture including a broken rim on the day's first test. Perez's frustration was tempered slightly when his main rival for the final podium position, Gerard Marcy, pulled up in exactly the same spot also with a puncture but with only one wheel to change, was on his way sooner.
Trying to preserve his position, Perez took it easy on the second stage although he punctured again but this time, didn't have to stop and change on stage as he was just 3km from the finish.
With just a few miles between him and his first overseas podium, Perez drove cautiously on the third and final stage to bring the car home safely and to begin the celebrations.
"Out of everything I've done in rallying, including all the wins I've had, this has to be my greatest achievement,” Perez said. “This has given me so much pleasure and just to get to the finish is amazing, let alone on the podium. We had a tyre changing race with Gerard and I was a little worried and then on the last stage, and I'm being serious here, my mum would have overtaken us had she been driving we took it so slowly!
"A massive thanks to Tim Ashton and the whole of the BTR team as the car has been perfect and ran faultlessly throughout. This is the last of the great rallies and we're already making plans to come back in 2011 but for now, seeing as though it's both Staffan's and another one of our team, Ian's birthdays today, we're off to the awards presentation and then we'll be spending the rest of the night in the bar!"