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Asphalt rally driver Steve Brown had a shorter than usual event last weekend, after his Honda Civic was side-lined by transmission gremlins at the SMC Stages in Anglesey.

The Rochdale driver had swapped his usual Nissan Micra Kit Car for a loaned Honda and would contest the North Wales based event to acquire seat time in the new machine before crossing the channel to begin his assault on the Belgium based Flanders International Rally Challenge (FIRC).

But drama struck on the opening test of the day when the Honda developed a transmission issue and despite attempts to cure the problem during the morning, Brown was forced out of the race circuit based event.

Brown will use the Type R Honda for the early part of the season and has his eyes set firmly on bettering his 2016 result of third overall in the two wheel drive category of the FIRC this year.

Whilst the Micra is undergoing a raft of changes to improve on the horsepower shortage which it suffers against others in the class, Brown has been offered the use of the Civic for the season.

Not wanting to learn the car on the tricky closed roads of Rallye Salamandre at the end of April, Brown and co-driver Paul Stringer made the trip to Anglesey to ensure they could adapt to the new steed before heading across the channel.

But Brown’s event was over before it really began, suffering transmission issues during the first stage of the circuit based event. To ensure he had a chance of fixing it before the opening Belgian round, he elected to withdraw from the rally later that day after an attempt to cure the problem.

“At least it happened in North Wales and not in Flanders” said Brown.

“We do have to look at the positives from it and that has to be the biggest thing, I would have hated to retire on the first stage in Belgium so this way, its gives us the opportunity to attend to the issue before the end of the month”.

It will still be a race against time for Brown to ready the car for Salamandre.

“This is exactly why we came to Anglesey to make sure everything was right, but we now have to work fast to ensure we can get it ready for our Belgium campaign.  We will start working on it as soon as it’s back in the workshop and will put all our resources into getting it ready in time. It’s certainly a shame but these things do happen in rallying and we need to remain focused for the rest of the season.”

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

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

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