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tyneside15 (142)After the disappointment of retiring from the previous round of the REIS MSA Asphalt Rally Championship in Ireland, Nissan Micra Kit Car pilot Steve Brown revived his title hopes last weekend as he took the class B9 runner up championship spot at the Tyneside Stages on Sunday 2nd August. Battling with heavy rain and tough conditions over the Otterburn Military ranges, Brown racked up the much needed points to vault him back into contention for the class title.

With regular co-driver Paul Stinger unavailable, Brown would be guided through the Northumberland event by Jane Edgington and the duo had 13 stages and 80 miles ahead of them across the notorious military base to contend with.  Before the event, the Rochdale driver had dropped down the series leader board to third and had set his sights firmly on regaining lost ground on the leaders in his new-for- 2015 Nissan Micra Kit Car.  Whilst still in the development phase, Brown had showed flashes of brilliance throughout the season but was mindful that a strong finish would be more useful for his championship than outright speed.

However, he was disappointed at the halfway service halt with his slow start during the morning.  “It’s been a tough morning for everyone on the stages but I really didn’t find a comfortable rhythm this morning which has seen us outside of the podium which is really where we need to be at the moment” said Brown.  “I didn’t get anywhere near enough seat time in Ireland so I’m playing catch up a little, but with the stages drying out we can hopefully start to find the pace needed this afternoon”.

tyneside15 (141)With the 1400cc class one of the closest in the series, it would be an uphill struggle for Brown to make any advance on the leaders. But true to his word, the Questmead Sales Engineer knuckled down and grabbed third in class on stage eight, a spot he would retain throughout the final five stages to cross the finish podium with a much needed points haul and second registered class contender home.

“We really needed to get this result today so the weekend has really gone to plan” said Brown at the finish. “We had no real problems all day long and there is still plenty more to come from the car as we continue to develop it this season.  We are in an encouraging position in the championship now and just five points separate us from the leader. It’s going to be a great battle over the final two events”.

He now sits second in the B9 class standings with the next round of the championship taking crews back to the Epynt military ranges in Wales at the end of the month.

Brown is supported in 2015 by Questmead Ltd, Mintex, Fuchs Titan, PIAA, 710 oils, Power Maxed and SIX80 Limited.

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