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STEVE BROWN


PRESS RELEASE: 1st May 2018

Epynt podium sets Brown up for Spanish rally invitation

Just days after retiring with transmission failure from Rallye Salamandre in Belgium, Steve Brown ensured his season was back on track by securing a class podium at last weekend’s HRCR Mini Sport Cup - Dixies Historic Challenge (29th April).

Brown and co-driver Paul Stringer would quickly adapt to the classic Mini across the notorious Epynt Military Ranges and secured an impressive second place in class MC4 against many more seasoned competitors in the category. Brown’s success at the weekend comes with perfect timing as the 29 year old will now prepare to head to Spain to tackle the Rallye Festival Transmiera on 10th-12th May.

In a troubled start to 2018, the Rochdale based driver was due to head across the channel at the beginning of the month to kick-start his 2018 Flanders International Rally Challenge (FIRC) campaign in his familiar Nissan Micra Kit Car. But at the last minute, he was forced to swap to a Historic Mini due to the Nissan not being ready in time.

All his efforts were in vein however as gearbox failure on the third stage side-lined the Mini and it would be a race against time to ensure the car could compete in Wales last weekend. Luckily, the issue was fixed during the week and Brown could head to the ranges near Llandovery with the hopes of securing a finish and gaining valuable experience in the car ahead of further outings later in the year.

The Historic-specification Mini would provide a very different viewpoint to the event for Brown, having previously contested events at the venue in his Micra as part of the National Asphalt Championship in 2016. But he would not be fazed by the change of power, handling and braking, battling hard all day long to take second place in the hotly-contested Mini class.

To add to the weekend, Brown also elected to play his “Joker card” meaning his result bags one and half times the points allocated for the championship and he was pleased to finally get a finish for the car.

“It’s a totally different beast to drive and I really have had to change my driving style and approach to the whole event” said Brown.

“So to come away from my first full rally in the car with a class podium is really encouraging. I will admit I do have a lot more to learn about driving the Mini, I’m pretty sure there are places that I could make up time on my rivals but for now I`m happy to have taken my first rally finish of the season with an award. The competition was excellent too and with 20 or so other Mini’s competing in the Cup, the camaraderie was fantastic”.

Brown will not have time relish his success for too long, as he heads for northern Spain in a week’s time to contest the invite-only Rallye Festival Transmiera. This time, Brown will be taking the Nissan Kit Car to Europe and is excited at the prospect of competing in the country for the first time. Over 160 cars will be tackling the closed road event in the North East of Spain.

“It’s a real honour to be invited over to tackle the rally and it looks like it’s an amazing event” he says.

“To be honest its very humbling when you see some of the names on the entry list and to line up alongside legends such as Juha Kankkunen is pretty special. There will be no heroics from me as the car will still be very fresh but of course we want to put on a show for the crowd and the atmosphere there will be unbeatable. I don’t think I’ve looked forward to a rally so much in ages!”

You can follow his progress throughout the season via his website www.stevebrownrallying.co.uk, on Facebook and Twitter.

Brown is supported in 2018 by Fuchs Titan Race, Questmead Ltd, 710, Mintex Racing, PIAA, Brake Prep and Pirelli.

 

 

PRESS RELEASE: 25th April 2018

Mini adventure ends in retirement for Brown in Belgium

Rapid Nissan Micra Kit Car pilot Steve Brown was forced to make a last minute switch to a Historic specification Mini Cooper last week, just days ahead of his trip to Rallye Salamandre in Belgium (22nd April).

The Rochdale rally driver was due to use the Nissan to kick off his second assault in as many years on the Flanders International Rally Challenge (FIRC), but less than a week before he was due to leave, Brown was informed the car would not be ready in time and he was faced with the possibility of not competing at all.

Luckily, Brown had a backup plan and would head across the channel to compete in the popular event behind the wheel of the Fuchs, Questmead and Mintex supported classic Mini. Sadly despite his best efforts on the Belgian closed roads, Brown was forced to retire on the third test with gearbox failure.

The 29-year-old had a sporadic season in 2017 with outings in Belgium and the UK behind the wheel of a Honda Civic and Mitsubishi Evo IX whilst the Micra Kit Car undergoes essential development work which has taken longer than expected. Brown was nevertheless looking forward to the rally having taken third in class on the event last year.

It wasn’t an easy start to event for Brown and co-driver Paul Stringer however. A torrential thunderstorm during the opening stage would make the going treacherous for the classic machine, but a failed wiper linkage made matters worse, leaving Brown to tip-toe through the test. Predictably perhaps, steamed windows would hamper any progress on the second stage and the third saw the Mini retire from the event with transmission woes.

“After all the hard work and last minute rushing around to get the Mini here, it’s a bitter blow to have only completed three stages” said Brown.

“But despite the issues it was great fun and the Mini was popular with the spectator that’s for sure. I was just getting into my stride too, it’s a completely different animal to the Nissan but I really enjoyed the stages we did do”.

There will be no rest for the team as they will now head for Wales at the weekend to tackle the second round of the HRCR Mini Sport Cup across Epynt Military Ranges at the Dixies Historic Challenge on Sunday (29th April).

“It will be a very tight turn around but we think we can get it fixed and back on the road in time” says Brown.

“I really do enjoy Epynt and we always did pretty well there when we competed in the National Asphalt Championship in the Micra so this will be an awesome experience in the Mini. It’s really great fun to drive and competing against so many other Minis creates a great atmosphere and sight in the service area. It will be a bit slower than I`m used to but I`ll be trying just as hard that’s for sure”.

You can follow his progress throughout the season via his website www.stevebrownrallying.co.uk, on Facebook and Twitter.

Brown is supported in 2018 by Fuchs Titan Race, Questmead Ltd, 710, Mintex Racing, PIAA, Brake Prep and Pirelli.


 

PRESS RELEASE: 18th February 2018

Brown brings back Micra for packed rally season


Rochdale rally driver Steve Brown will aim to put the disappointment of last season behind him as he plans to return to the sport with an interesting mix of events and cars for his 2018 campaign.

After a turbulent and rather sporadic year which saw him take to the wheel of a Honda Civic and Mitsubishi Lancer, Brown will embark on an assault on the Flanders International Rally Challenge (FIRC) in his popular Nissan Micra Kit Car which has undergone a series of development work during 2017.

His season in Belgium will be complemented with selected outings back in the UK, contesting the HRCR Mini Sport Cup, behind the wheel of a Mintex supported classic Mini. If his year was not looking packed enough, Brown has also been invited to compete in the Rallye Festival Trasmiera with the Micra which takes place near the Spanish city of Santander.

The 29-year-old Questmead Sales Engineer is well known for his impressive results in the Nissan and has taken several class titles in the National Asphalt Championship and FIRC podium positions. With a desire to further develop the under powered Micra after 2016, Brown was offered the loan of a more powerful Honda Civic but his season was cut short due to mechanical issues. Aside from sporadic outings in the Mitsubishi, a full championship assault has not been forthcoming.

Now, Brown will look to consolidate last year’s misfortunes and ensure he makes the most out of the season ahead. His first outing will be at the opening round of the FIRC in April, Rallye Salamandre where he will return to the event in which he claimed a class 3F podium in 2017; at the wheel of his old, borrowed Nissan Micra.

After the Rallye Festival Trasmiera, Brown will resume his FIRC championship aspirations at the ORC Canal Rally in May and is keen to get the season underway in the popular Micra Kit Car.

“It really felt like I couldn’t do anything right last season and we had some really wicked bad luck,” says Brown.

“I knew I had to develop the Micra Kit Car further but didn’t want to take a whole year out so was grateful for the support I got from people who loaned me cars to enable me to compete, but we just couldn’t pull it all together and not doing a full championship wasn’t much fun. So now the Micra is back on the road I`ll be heading back to Belgium and see what we can do with chasing down the two-wheel drive and class honours. We will mix that with the invitational outing in Spain which I`m really looking forward to. It's going to be a fun year I hope!”


As well as competing in the Micra, Brown will also try his hand at Historic rallying, with selected events in the Questmead owned Mini Cooper starting with the Tour of Flanders in August. He will then make his first UK outing at the Cheviot Rally across Otterburn in the North East at the end of the year in the machine.

“It will be a different animal all together but thanks to changing cars so much last year I have learnt to adapt to that and I`m really looking forward to the close competition in the Mini Cup,” he says.

“They are great fun to drive and despite only having two outings, I won't be there just to make up the numbers. Historic rallying is certainly very buoyant at the moment so it will be fantastic to be part of that. It will be a good mix of events too, both in Belgium and back home so I think it will round off the year nicely. It's going to be a busy one!”

 

You can follow his progress throughout the season via his website www.stevebrownrallying.co.uk.

Brown is supported in 2017 by Fuchs Titan Race, Questmead Ltd, 710, PIAA, Brake Prep and Pirelli.