Rochdale rally ace Steve Brown will make the trip to Wales next weekend with a new car for 2015 as he kicks off his assault on this year’s REIS MSA Asphalt Rally Championship. The 27 year old Nissan Micra pilot will use his newly built kit car to tackle the opening round of the series, the Melvyn Evans Motorsport Tour of Epynt Rally. After several years behind the wheel of his familiar Nissan Micra which he developed from a Formula F1000 a 1300cc Rally First car, this season will see Brown step up to class B9 where he will challenge for the 1400cc awards.
The Llandovery based rally will mark the inaugural event for Brown’s new steed and provides a new challenge for the Questmead Sales Engineer. Having spent the last few years building the car alongside his existing rally championship campaign, Brown remains level headed when it comes to his aspirations for the year ahead. “To say I’m excited about the season ahead is an understatement” he says. “But I am well aware that even the best new cars have teething troubles to. My main aim is to finish the first round without too many dramas. It will be really important to get some solid points on the board and perhaps then we can look to improving our pace over the forthcoming events”.
The multiple Formula1000 champion will be joined by regular co-driver Paul Stringer for the season and the Epynt military ranges which hosts round one of the series, they are no stranger to the venue as the duo have competed there many times previously. But the infamous stages are well known for their unpredictability and Brown is taking a long term attitude towards the event.
“The championship certainly won’t be won on the first round but we can certainly make the rest of the year hard work if we get it wrong” he explains. “I’m going to need as much mileage under my belt as possible to get used to the new car, so it’s going to be a steep learning curve on the unforgiving military roads around Epynt. It’s a wide-track version of the car I am used to and has more power than my last Micra so it will be interesting to see how it performs”.
It is also hoped that Brown can get the old car out on gravel this year in a bid to qualify for the all new BTRDA Rally Challenge which has points scoring rounds on both asphalt and forest events. But for now, the main focus is the asphalt series opener and he will perform a short test ahead of the event in Wales to ensure any last minute issues can be ironed out.
The Melvyn Evans Motorsport Tour of Epynt Rally offers crews over 80 competitive stage miles in seven hard fought stages across the military roads on Sunday 8th March. Competitors will return to the event finish in Llandovery at around 4.30pm that day.
Brown is supported in 2015 by Questmead Ltd, Mintex, Fuchs Titan, PIAA, 710 oils and SIX80 Limited.