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rallyisleofman16-215Fresh from a start-to-finish class win on Rally Isle of Man a fortnight ago, Rochdale rally ace Steve Brown will resume his charge on the Flanders International Rally Challenge (FIRC) with the penultimate round of the series this weekend, The Hemicuda Rally.

The Nissan Micra Kit Car pilot was forced to miss two rounds of the Belgium based championship in the summer but will aim to pick up where he left off at Rally Van Wervick where he scored a top 40 result and fifth in class 3F.  Up against much more powerful machinery, the 1300cc Micra is at a power disadvantage to its class rivals but Brown heads back across the English Channel with renewed vigour after his dominant Manx win.

Brown and regular co-driver Paul Stringer will have over 100kms of competitive action ahead of them across the closed public roads in the North West of Belgium, spread across nine special tests.  But it has been a nail baiting two weeks for the 28 year old Questmead Sales Engineer who has faced a race against time to repair the transmission on the Nissan after a car breaking “Manx”.

“It was always going to be a big challenge to contest two huge events in the space of just a few weeks but after our success on the Isle of Man it was certainly worth it” says Brown.  “We broke a driveshaft on the second day which then forced a transmission replacement so we have been lucky enough to get a quick turnaround on the rebuild.  We leave late next week so we should be fine”.

After his recent success, Brown believes that he is starting to get the most of the car which was new for 2015.  “Last year in the MSA Asphalt Championship was spent learning and developing the car so contesting the FIRC was a chance to really start to build on the pace and see what we could do.  I think we proved that on the Manx but we do give away a lot of horsepower in Belgium as it’s an up to 1600cc class. But we are now knocking on the door of our first class win over there now and regularly setting top three times against the locals. It would be nice to think we can start to look at a podium result this weekend.”

After a full day of pre event reconnaissance on Saturday 8th October, the Hemicuda Rally kicks off at 8.30am on Saturday and consists of three stages repeated before the finish celebrations at around 5pm that day.

Brown is supported in 2016 by Fuchs Titan Race, Questmead Ltd, Mintex Racing 710, PIAA and Pirelli.

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