Rochdale rally driver Steve Brown enjoyed a very successful Jim Clark National rally event last weekend when he finished second in class in the MSA Asphalt Championship.
It was the first time Brown had contested the popular Kelso-based event which runs on closed public roads in the Scottish Borders.
The rally started with three stages on Friday evening. The first was a short stage in Duns town centre in front of a huge crowd of spectators. Brown took his Mintex Racing, Fuchs Titan Race, 710 Oil's, PIAA and Sabelt UK-backed Nissan Micra 1300 to second in the championship class battle. The very challenging Abbey St Bathans stage was next up, 16 miles of twisty and bumpy lanes which always causes problems for a lot of crews. Brown and co-driver Paul Stringer had a clear run though and they rounded off Friday evening with the Tweedside stage which included a huge jump where the Micra flew through the air.
“The Friday stages went well,” said Brown. “The Abbey stage was a big test, the roads are so tricky there and it would be very easy to crash out of the event. We had a decent run through though. The jump on the Tweedside stage was good fun!”
Day two of the rally had eight stages including two runs of the Swinton stage which featured the famous Swinton Mill crossroads where many a car has come to grief. Brown negotiated the crossroads with no problems but was caught out in another part of the stage when his car hit a patch of gravel and slid head on into a tree. Although the bodywork was damaged the radiator, steering and handling of the car were fine so Brown was able to continue.
With a finish vital for his championship hopes Brown did not push too hard in the remaining stages but he was quick enough to hold his second in the championship class position.
“What an event it was, a real challenge and I’m delighted to get a finish on my Jim Clark debut. We couldn’t afford a retirement so we were lucky the incident with the tree didn’t force us out. The stages were brilliant and we had a great time. Thank you to the team and all our sponsors for the support which allowed us to contest the event.”
Brown’s next event is scheduled to be the Tyneside Stages in August.