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Steve_Brown_PR3_15Steve Brown finished a solid second in class on the Manx National Rally last weekend.

Competing in only his second event in his newly built Nissan Micra Kit Car, Rochdale’s Steve Brown scored an impressive runner up position on last weekend’s IMGold Manx National Rally.  The Isle of Man event was the second round of the REIS MSA Asphalt Rally Championship and Brown took the two day event in his stride, securing a solid second in class B9 and taking maximum championship points.

After a strong start to the season in Wales back in March, Brown would head across the Irish Sea to tackle the infamous Manx roads in the hope of a strong result to boost his title hopes. Co-driven by Paul Stringer, the duo climbed the leader board throughout the tough event, enduring a typical Manx micro-climate over both days of the 110 mile asphalt rally.

The event kicked off on Friday evening and crews were greeted with torrential rain across the entire island making conditions treacherous for normal driving, let alone high speed competition on the closed public roads. Despite a confident pre-event test the week before to bed in some new revisions to the Micra, Brown would not be looking forward to the night tests. Darkness was his self-confessed Achilles heel in the sport. Not that it showed as the times rolled in however. Brown would take each night stage in his stride; never out of the top three all evening and happy to emerge third at the overnight halt.

Saturday dawned a little brighter and Brown firmly believed this would where the ‘real’ rally would start.  Just a handful of stages into the daylight and Brown upped his pace to grab second spot.  Despite a bent suspension arm thanks to clipping a bank, he would retain his impressive position until the podium in Douglas on Saturday afternoon.

“I think it’s fair to say we had a fantastic rally and went much better than I expected” said Brown. “I’m still learning the car and it’s only done a few hundred competitive miles so it’s just bedding in really, a bit like me!  To come away with maximum championship points is a great achievement and I have to thank Paul for getting me round in once piece. The Isle of Man is such a tricky place and can be a tough one to crack. If you said we would have had second in class before the event, I would have bitten your hand off. It certainly holds us in a good stead for the remainder of the championship.”

Brown now faces an uphill struggle to raise the required budget to head back across the water to Ireland for the next round in the series, the ALMC Stages which takes place in early July.

Image courtesy of Manxman Photos

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