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sb-kortrijk2Flanders International Rally Challenge (FIRC) contender Steve Brown ended his season on a high as he took the top spot in the two wheel drive category on the final round, Rally van Kortrijk.

The Rochdale ace overcame early technical problems to guide his Nissan Micra Kit Car to 58th overall and seventh in class 3F, taking the FIRC honours in the process.  His impressive result was enough to land him third overall in the two wheel drive category and sixth overall in Brown’s inaugural season competing on the iconic Belgium roads.

Co-driven once again by Paul Stringer, the duo have impressed this season as they familiarised themselves with the closed public roads which form the FIRC series.  Enjoying a one hundred per cent finishing record across the English Channel, Brown has been pleased with his performance in the championship and headed to final round of the season in a confident mood and one eye on the two wheel drive podium.

Rally van Kortrijk kicked off on Saturday (21st November) with one stage under the cover of darkness before the bulk of the mileage took place the next day. But Brown’s podium aspirations were almost over before they began as a fuel pressure issue blighted his run across the event opening stage.

sb-kortrijk1Sunday’s opening stages offered no improvement and Brown suffered more time zapping fuel problems in the first daylight loop.  But, with the issue corrected at the service halt, Brown began the fightback and set about climbing back up the leader board throughout the remaining nine stages. A solid run over the remaining tests saw Brown cross the finish ramp in Kortrijk town centre with his first FIRC victory and a great end to his season.

“This is the perfect way to finish the year” said a jubilant Brown at the finish. “I really thought it was all over this morning but the team were fantastic and solved the issue in record time today.  We didn’t take too many risks this afternoon but we are still matching and in many cases beating the more powerful cars in our class which is really encouraging for the future.  To take sixth overall this season is certainly more than we could have hoped for”.

Brown will now spend the closed season preparing for 2017. “It was important to get the experience of foreign events under our belts and to really test the Micra on the unpredictable roads of Belgium” he says.

“We will now sit down and look at next year and see what the best move will be. This season’s success has only been possible thanks all our sponsors and supporters, we could not have done it without them and hopefully we will continue our run of form into next year”.

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

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