Kick Energy rally driver Steve Perez overcame the disappointment of retiring from the event last year to record a superb podium placing on today's Rallye Sunseeker in Bournemouth.

Driving the Ford Focus WRC07 along with Welsh co driver Paul Spooner, Perez, from Chesterfield, claimed a battling third place overall after 60 challenging stage miles on the opening round of the 2010 MSA Gravel Rally Championship.

However it could have been so much better had the former national and historic rally champion not suffered a problem on the final stage which cost him the second place he had been holding on to for most of the rally.

"I threw it all away on the last stage!" he said. "We had a minor spin but I accidentally caught the master switch and by the time we'd realised what had happened we'd lost a lot of time. It was our only problem all day long. The car has been great as always and we had a relatively comfortable second place until that happened."

Ahead of Perez was mutliple ANCRO champion and seven times Rallye Sunseeker winner Marcus Dodd with the Peugeot Cosworth of Andrew Burton edging past Perez for runner-up spot.

Steve's next outing is scheduled for next Saturday where he will be looking to add the Malcolm Wilson Rally title to his Wyedean victory earlier this month.