By stevebrownrally, Jun 25 2019 11:09AM
Toyo Tyres British Rallycross rookie Steve Brown secured his maiden BMW MINI Championship podium on Sunday, taking third place at Pembrey Race Circuit at the fourth round of the series in South Wales (22-23 June).
With the weekend double-header counting for rounds three and four of the series, Brown overcame a difficult Saturday to bounce back to a third place in the final the very next day, meaning he heads to the next round back at Lydden Hill in fifth place in the series and just two points behind fourth spot.
As an experienced rally driver, Brown made the full-time switch to the British Rallycross Championship in 2019 behind the wheel of a Bellerby RX BMW MINI. Contesting the ultra-competitive single make formula throughout the eight round series, Brown has impressed onlookers in his debut year, but having to learn racecraft and the circuits on each weekend, meaning he headed to South Wales in seventh place in the championship.
Pembrey offered two chances to score with Saturday’s races counting as round three and Sunday’s reverse circuit marking out round four. Lining up on the front row of the grid for the opening heat on Saturday meant the Rochdale driver would have the best possible chance of a good getaway and subsequently lay down some solid lap times.
Despite having to learn the circuit during the heats, Brown was on form straight away, winning his heat and scoring second fastest across both grids to kick off his account. The second heat was less successful, only managing fourth and line up on the second row for the final. Being towards the back hampered any progress up the field thanks to dust and Brown brought the Lohen, Swift GO, Fuchs Lubricants and 710 Oils backed MINI home in sixth.
A new approach was required on Sunday’s fourth round and yet again Brown would need to learn the circuit thanks to the overnight changes. A much better feeling in the car boosted his confidence and fourth fastest in the opening heat of the day was a sign of things to come. That was bettered in the second and third heats meaning he would line up on the second row for the final.
Sunday’s rain had made the surface tricky and the changes from gravel to asphalt would hold the key to a good result. Brown would need to call on all his stage rallying experience to guide him around the circuit and his skills came to the fore, launching himself into third to join teammate Drew Bellerby on the podium.
“I'm delighted to finally get my first podium in British Rallycross,” said Brown.
“It’s been a really steep learning curve this season and I've lost out quite a lot in the finals just really because of inexperience I think. Racecraft is so very important and judging when to push and when to manage your position takes some getting used to but that all came together today and it got me a great result. I think the rain helped as I`m no stranger to driving in that but hopefully this is the turning point in my championship. Huge thanks to the team and all my backers for their support and hopefully we can continue this run of form back at Lydden Hill next month.”
Steve is sponsored by Lohen, Swift GO, 710 Oils, PIAA, Questmead, Mintex, Yokohama and Fuchs Lubricants.