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STEVE BROWN


 

PRESS RELEASE: 2nd September 2021

Brown secures maiden British Rallycross victory and championship lead

Motorsport UK British Rallycross Championship 5 Nations Trophy contender Steve Brown took his maiden victory in the closely fought BMW MINI series last weekend, scooping an impressive double victory at Pembrey Race Circuit in Wales (29-30 August).

Brown enjoyed a confidence-boosting weekend behind the wheel of his Fuchs Lubricants backed MINI to win both Sunday and Monday’s Final at the double-header weekend, which puts the Rochdale driver at the top of the Championship standings as the season approaches the halfway point.

“I`m buzzing,” said an elated Brown at the podium celebrations.

“It was a tough start to the season so I really came here with the plan of just getting some positive points on the board. But to win not one, but two Finals is pretty mind-blowing to be honest. It’s not quite sunk in yet”.

Brown made his return to the ultra-competitive single-make formula which runs as part of the prestigious British Rallycross Championship after a year away from the circuits due to the pandemic. Despite spending much of his career as a rally driver, in 2019 he made the switch to the race track and in his debut season on the British Rallycross, took a positive third overall in the championship.

Returning in 2021, a bumper grid would make repeating his success an uphill task and the opening round at Lydden Hill was a tough start to his campaign. As he settled back into the hotly contested series, Brown could only manage sixth and fourth at the first meeting of the season.

In a bid to hit the ground running in Wales, Brown headed to the non-championship BTRDA Clubmans Rallycross encounter at the Pembrey Circuit in early August, hoping to gain valuable seat time and hone his racecraft ahead of the all-important British Championship round. Third place was the reward and he headed back to the track a few weeks later eager to improve on his opening event score.

The weekend got off to the perfect start with heat one victory and took third in the Semi-Final. But the last race of the day is where it matters and Brown battled hard throughout the Final to take his maiden British Rallycross Championship win.

The second day offered the prime opportunity to repeat the accolade and Brown duly delivered. A solid performance throughout the heats saw him seal the valuable win in the Semi-Final’s, putting him in pole position for the all-important Final. And Brown made it stick, storming to a mighty second victory of the weekend and the lead of the Championship as a result.

“I came to this round with a different mindset, to race harder and with more confidence,” says Brown.

“Along with better starts from the line it all came together this weekend and to take my first British Championship win was just fantastic, but to do it all over again the next day is very special. I’ve not had it easy in any of my races in the championship over the years and I was delighted with third in 2019. So to be leading the series is a welcome surprise and puts me in a great place for the next round.”

The series now heads to Knockhill in Scotland at the end of September for rounds five and six.

Steve is sponsored by Fuchs Lubricants, 710 Oils, PIAA, Questmead, Mintex, Brake Prep, CD Heritage and Magnum Motorsport.

 

 

 

PRESS RELEASE: 11th August 2021

Brown enjoys double BTRDA podium at Pembrey

British Rallycross Championship 5 Nations Trophy contender Steve Brown aims to hit the ground running at the next round of the series, thanks to securing a double podium at the non-championship BTRDA Clubmans Rallycross event at Pembrey in Wales last weekend (7/8 August).

After enjoying a positive start to his return to the British Championships in May, Brown elected to head to the Welsh circuit to keep match fit ahead of his next outing at the circuit which forms a British round at the end of the month. And his decision was well rewarded, scooping third place in the hotly contested BMW MINI series double-header and a confidence boost heading into the upcoming national qualifier.

The Rochdale driver elected to mount a second assault on the competitive single-make formula in 2021 after being forced to sit out much of the previous season due to the pandemic. Brown had made the switch from stage rallying to rallycross in 2019 and his debut season in the British Championship saw him take third overall in the MINI series.

A return to the circuits in May this year at Lydden Hill’s double-header, saw Brown face a bumper grid of 17 MINI contenders in equal machinery and despite a tough start to his season, recovered strongly to take sixth and fourth place in the first and second rounds respectively.

With an extensive gap to the following round, Brown would head to a one-off round of the BTRDA Clubman series, in a bid to gain further knowledge of the circuit layout and continue to hone his racecraft on the tricky mixed surface.

Contesting the Super Modified Category, Brown enjoyed a strong practice session and despite the changeable weather, was third fastest MINI in the opening heat of the weekend. Going quicker still in the second heat of the weekend saw him qualify for the competitive A-final which took place under largely dry conditions.

After a difficult mixed Final where the MINI contingent would go head-to-head with the more powerful Super Modified machinery, Brown knuckled down to scoop third place and an impressive podium result on day one of the competition.

Sunday was a much drier affair but Brown suffered a slower than usual start to the opening two heats of the day. Thankfully, he recovered in the third and final heat to secure the fastest MINI and once again make the coveted `A Final` to round out the day, where he would repeat Saturday’s effort and secure yet another podium position.

“It’s been a positive weekend all round really” said Brown.

“It's nice to be able to come to another series and still be competitive and when you are not chasing championship points it allows you to relax a little. The idea was simply to get seat time ahead of the next British outing due to the enforced gap so from that point of view it has been a successful weekend. The main focus of course is now the next British round when we return here on 29th August”.

Brown heads back to Pembrey for the British qualifier in seventh place in the BMW MINI series standings.

Steve is sponsored by Fuchs Lubricants, 710 Oils, PIAA, Questmead, Mintex, Brake Prep, CD Heritage and Magnum Motorsport.

All image credits: Matt Bristow

 

 

PRESS RELEASE: 1st February 2021

Brown to mount British Rallycross campaign in 2021

After a successful debut season in the British Rallycross Championship in 2019, Rochdale driver Steve Brown will once again swap the rally stages for circuits as he makes a return to the popular BMW MINI series in 2021.

After his rallying plans were put on hold last year due to the pandemic, Brown only managed two stage events and one circuit outing, meaning much of the season was spent on the side-lines. With the uncertainties continuing over the return of stage rallying in the UK in 2021, Brown has elected to switch his attention back to the track and a second campaign in the BMW MINI championship.

“I certainly didn’t think I`d be returning to the British Rallycross Championship so soon but now we have put the final piece of the jigsaw in place I`m very excited to head back to the series for a second time” said Brown.

“Rallying is going through a tough time at the moment and I wanted little more certainty to my 2021 season after a nightmare in 2020. I`d been considering a return for a while and the more I looked into it the better proposition it became and it soon became an easy choice”.

As part of the 5 Nations British Rallycross Championship, the hotly contested single-make BMW MINI formula will provisionally visit five different race circuits in the UK, plus a visit to the iconic SPA Francorchamps track in Belgium to close out the season.

After spending most of his competitive career contesting stage rallies, a one-off guest appearance in the BTRDA Rallycross series in 2017 offered a new avenue to explore with a full campaign in the British Championship being offered in 2019.

His campaign didn’t get off to the best of starts, with power and steering failure in the opening round final at Silverstone putting him on the back foot from the off, but a host of podiums followed which led to Brown finally securing an impressive third place in the BMW MINI series standings on his maiden rallycross season.

Brown has his sights set on going one better in the championship this time around.

“I learnt a lot about rallycross in a very short space of time in 2019 so hopefully that means I can hit the ground running this time,” he says.

“It wasn’t so much about the car control or handling, it was the race craft aspect of the discipline which was tough to get my head around but I soon learnt how to get the most from the qualifying sessions and final. It would be nice to do better than third and with my previous experience that’s certainly going to be the aim. It’s really great to be back and big thanks must go to my long-standing backers for sticking by my throughout the season once again”.

Steve is sponsored by Fuchs Lubricants, Mintex, PIAA and Questmead, 710 Oils, Magnum Motorsport, Brake Prep and Wired Remote for Go Pro.

 

 

PRESS RELEASE: 8th December 2020

Brown ends convoluted season with Dukeries Rally class podium

Steve Brown scooped a class podium at a tricky Donington Park

Nissan Micra Kit Car ace Steve Brown rounded out a quieter than normal season with third in class at the Dukeries Rally, which took place at Donington Park Race Circuit on Sunday (6th December).

Acting as the opening round of the winter-based Motorsport News Circuit Rally Championship, a bumper entry saw a healthy battle for Class 1 honours, with Rochdale based Brown and regular co-driver Paul Stringer overcoming several hurdles throughout the day to take the final class podium spot and 60th overall at the damp Leicestershire venue.

With COVID-19 impacting the motorsport calendar in the UK and Europe like many, Brown has sat out much of the season, managing selected outings during the year but falling short of completing a full championship. With his original plans to head back to Belgium put on hold and a freshly revitalised Nissan Micra ready to go, he was pleased to be able to contest the Cotswolds Stages Rally last month, grabbing a class podium in the process.

With the MSN Circuit series taking place in the `closed season`, and the only rally series to survive the pandemic, Brown elected to head to Donington in a bid to further reacclimatise himself to the machine after two years away from the driving seat of the Nissan.

Over 100 entries headed to a cold and damp circuit to tackle 48 miles of special stages, utilising the perimeter roads, car parks and the race circuit itself throughout the day. Conditions were treacherous during the morning loop of stages and with temperatures failing to rise much above freezing, it would be a tentative start to the day for Brown.

A misted windscreen would prevent an early charge on the opening stage of the event, leaving him down in fifth in class. The second stage wouldn’t bring much more luck for the Micra driver, a spin in the slippery conditions further hampering any progress up the leader board.

As Brown’s confidence improved during the day, his fightback began and with only six special tests to improve on his position he would have to lay down an impressive marker of times to creep into the podium positions. By the fifth test, Brown had grabbed third in class and an all-important buffer to fourth made even more valuable thanks to suffering a damaged gearbox on the final stage of the rally.

Limping across the line of the final test, Brown had built enough of a gap to fourth to be able to secure the final class podium on what is set to be his final outing of the year.

“It was a trying day, but I`m really pleased with the stages that we managed to do cleanly and it shows that the Micra certainly has the potential for the future,” remarked Brown.

“I was a little disappointed with third if I`m honest, but with the issues we had in the morning and the fact that the car is not quite suited to the venue, it’s not a bad outcome and its nice to come away with some silverware to end the year. It’s been a very hard year for everyone so I`d especially like to thank my partners and everyone who has stuck by me throughout the season. We are certainly hoping 2021 will be much better and we can get back to some kind of championship assault and show what we can really do”.

Image credit: Chicane Media


Steve is sponsored by Fuchs Lubricants, Mintex, PIAA and Questmead, 710 Oils, Magnum Motorsport, Brake Prep and Wired Remote for Go Pro.

 

PRESS RELEASE: 2nd December 2020

Donington beckons for Brown

Steve Brown heads to Donington for the Dukeries Rally this weekend

Rochdale based rally driver Steve Brown will contest the first stage event to take place after a nationwide lockdown this Sunday (6th December), as he tackles the Dukeries Rally at Donington Park Race Circuit in his familiar Nissan Micra Kit Car.

The opening round of the Motorsport News Circuit Rally Championship has attracted a capacity entry, with over 100 cars set to tackle the popular event, with Brown’s Nissan contesting the event at number 70 seed, such is the quality of the field.

With regular co-driver Paul Stringer alongside, the duo will aim to capitalise on their Cotswolds Stages Rally class podium, achieved last month in Gloucestershire as a warm-up to the MSN Circuit series which was eventually put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brown has had a quiet season behind the wheel, as have many thanks to events being cancelled or postponed in 2020. He was fortunate to try his hand at circuit racing in a historic Ford Mustang, coincidentally at Donington Park in September, but has always had his eye on returning to the stages in the potent Micra.

With limited options available and his plan to head into Belgium once again put on hold, Brown elected to contest selected events in the UK, and having been out of the driving seat of the Nissan for over two years, used the Down Ampney event to re-acclimatise himself to the machine.

After some first stage technical issues were ironed out, Brown enjoyed a top twenty result and was ready to head straight into the MSN Circuit opener the week after. Sadly that was postponed, but he kept his entry to the Dukeries Rally this weekend and will head back out onto the stages once again.

“I’m really excited to be competing again this weekend, I think its very fortunate that we are able to still be out there contesting events and that’s thanks to the protocols that the governing body and motor clubs have put in place” says Brown.

“It’s not my usual style of event that’s for sure, and competing at a circuit in a rally will feel a little odd but Down Ampney certainly gave me an indication of just how good the Micra is after the work we have carried out over the last year or so and it will be interesting to see how it goes.”

With a high calibre entry list and a lower than usual start number, Brown is focusing more on the experience than an outright result.

“It’s a mega entry and there is a very high chance we will be catching cars during the day so I`m not going concentrate on outright results too much. Another class podium will be nice but as I say, I`m just pleased to be out there competing. The rally uses both he circuit and a lot of the perimeter roads and paddock, so my racing outing here a few months ago probably won’t help too much either. That said, it should be a good day and it will be great to push the limits of the car a little more.”

Steve is sponsored by Fuchs Lubricants, Mintex, PIAA UK , Questmead, 710 Oils, Magnum Motorsport, Brake Prep and Wired Remote for Go Pro.

 

 

 

PRESS RELEASE: 5th November 2020

Cotswold class podium on Brown's rallying return

Brown was behind the wheel of his Nissan Micra Kit Car for the first time in 2 years last weekend

Steve Brown ensured his return to the stages was a positive one, as the Rochdale driver scooped a class podium at the Cotswolds Stages Rally in Gloucestershire last Saturday (31st October).

Despite being out of the driver's seat of his Nissan Micra Kit Car for over 2 years, Brown proved that he had lost none of his flair by taking 20th overall and third in class at the tricky Down Ampney based event.

Brown, co-driven by Paul Stringer was also due to head to Oulton Park for the opening round of the Motorsport News Circuit Rally Championship this weekend, but COVID-19 restrictions have forced postponement until a later date.

As a rally driver at heart, Brown has been longing to return to the stages thanks to a change of direction during the 2019 season. After a ‘one-off’ outing in a BMW MINI and the BTRDA Rallycross series in 2018, he was offered the chance to contest a full campaign the following year in the Toyo Tyres British Rallycross Championship.

The transition was a success, claiming third place in the series but, aside from a further outing in a historic Ford Mustang at Donington Park, Brown has been eager to return to rallying since his last event in October last year.

Sadly, after putting together a programme of Belgian events for the 2020 season, the pandemic cut short his plans and like many others, he has sat out most of this season.

The South West event would mark Brown’s first foray back to the stages and offered the perfect shakedown ahead of the MSN Circuit Championship which he was aiming to contest thanks to most of the rallies taking place over the winter period.

A traditional airfield style `single venue` stage event is often a simple affair, but the very nature of the surface and conditions meant the Cotswolds Stages would be anything but easy for the returning rally man. A technical glitch on the opening stage of the event cost Brown a significant amount of time, but once fixed, he was able to settle back into a rhythm and climb the leader board.

Being seeded outside of the top fifty, 20th overall was a welcome result for Brown who professed to enjoy the difficult and muddy broken concrete stages.

“It's great to be back rallying again, I`ve really missed this,” said Brown.

“Down Ampney is not my usual choice of event but we were eager to get some seat time ahead of the Oulton Park rally and make sure the car was running as it should. That proved valuable after our stage one problems but once they were sorted it all fell into place. I`ll admit I was a little rusty. It’s been two years this month that I`ve driven the Nissan so twentieth overall was a positive result considering the amount of time I`ve been away and that it was a full entry list. We have got out of this what we needed so I`m happy with the outcome, the changes we made to the car have certainly worked”.

With the current lockdown restrictions, Brown has had to re-evaluate his plans for the rest of the year.

“Of course it is disappointing that the first few rounds of the MSN Circuit Championship have been postponed until next year but there is no other choice at all. We were lucky to have competed last weekend at all so there are more important things going on right now. Either way, we will be ready to head back out onto the stages when it is safe to do so”.

Steve is sponsored by Fuchs Lubricants, Mintex, PIAA, Questmead, 710 Oils, Magnum Motorsport, Brake Prep and Wired Remote for Go Pro.

 

PRESS RELEASE: 22nd October, 2020

Brown heads back to the stages with popular Nissan Kit Car

After a successful racing debut at Donington Park last month, Rochdale driver Steve Brown will finally return to the rally stages, piloting his iconic Nissan Micra Kit Car at the Cotswolds Stages Rally in Gloucestershire (31st October).

The South West event will mark the 12-month anniversary since Brown has competed in a stage rally, and the South West based event will be the pre-cursor to the opening round of the Motorsport News Circuit Rally Championship at Oulton Park the week after which he has also entered.

Brown enjoyed a busy and successful season of Rallycross in 2019, taking a podium place in the Toyo Tyres British Rallycross Championship BMW MINI series but his last stage event sadly ended in retirement in Belgium behind the wheel of a MINI Cooper last October.

However, his passion for stage events meant the plan would be to return to rallying in 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic halted most events in the UK and Europe, leaving him on the sidelines. A one-off outing in a Historic Ford Mustang gave him his racing circuit debut in September, but Brown would always have his sights set on a return to the Nissan Micra which had enjoyed a pre-season rebuild in the down-time.

With many rally championships being forced into cancellation and many Belgian events also on the sidelines, he had eyed the MSN Circuit series as a viable alternative, lodging an entry to the opening round in November. Well aware that heading straight into his first rally for 12 months would be a steep learning curve, he elected to contest the Cirencester based event with regular co-driver Paul Stringer returning to the passenger seat of the Nissan.

Whilst the single-venue airfield event is a far cry from the closed public roads of Belgium that Brown has been used to in the past, the 42-mile asphalt rally should provide a suitable shakedown for the following weekend’s Championship opener.

“I hope I remember how to do this,” said Brown.

“It’s been far too long since I have competed in a rally and although I`ve enjoyed my outings in Rallycross and circuit racing, my heart and passion lie on the stages and of course in the Nissan. We have been waiting patiently for an event to do and of course, at the moment the current guidelines have meant many rallies cannot run which is understandable. Of course, it’s not quite the roads of Belgium but we are just really grateful to be able to compete right now”.

The Cotswolds Stages Rally takes place entirely on a disused airfield and has attracted a full entry, but the more forgiving nature of the venue will allow Brown to settle back into the Nissan.

“I started my rallying career on airfield events like this so it's nothing new, but there is no pressure at all which means we can concentrate on making sure the car is right before we head to Oulton Park the following week. The MSN Championship is the only series left to run in 2020 so it made sense that we try and do that this year. It’s a rally, based at a circuit so it should suit me really, I've got no excuses after my racing outing last month! But let's get the first weekend out the way first and see how we get on. We have made a few changes to the Micra over the closed season that need testing properly, but I`m delighted to be back”.

Steve is sponsored by Fuchs Lubricants, Mintex, PIAA and Questmead, 710 Oils, Magnum Motorsport, Brake Prep and Wired Remote for Go Pro.

 

 

 

PRESS RELEASE: 30th Sept 2020

Brown enjoys successful maiden historic circuit racing outing

Rochdale rally driver Steve Brown made the most out of his racing circuit debut by enjoying two positive race finishes at the wheel of a 1965 Ford Mustang as he contested the Classic Sports Car Club meeting at Donington Park on Sunday 27th September.

Usually found at the wheel of his Nissan Micra Kit Car on stage rallies across the UK and Europe, Brown turned his attentions to the iconic race circuit in Leicestershire to make his racing debut in the CSCC - Toyo Tires / Watchdogapp.com Jaguar Saloon Championship and Verum Builders Open Series races over the weekend.

Not only would Brown have to adapt to a full tour of a racing track for the first time, but he would also be driving a powerful 4.7 litre Ford Mustang 289cui, the very car used to take a class win at the famous Spa Six Hour Race. With very little rear-wheel drive experience and having never contested a full race previously, the pressure would be on to bring the car home in one piece, made even more prevalent thanks to a packed grid of experienced racers.

During 2019, Brown contested the Toyo Tyres British Rallycross Championship in a BMW MINI, offering him a taster of competition against other cars on track. However, with the mixed surface nature of the sport, it would offer little help when getting behind the wheel of the Mustang for the first time on Friday meaning he would need to work hard to learn both the car and the necessary racecraft required to contest an event such as this.

Luckily a test session on Friday allowed Brown to acclimatise to his new surroundings and he took to the track for a handful practice laps ahead of the weekend’s meeting. The tricky circuit is infamous for its fast and flowing nature, ready to catch the unwary and inexperienced but Brown bedded himself in slowly, building the pace as the session progressed and building the much-needed confidence ahead of Saturday’s qualifying session.

With 42 cars out on track, all eager to get a time good enough for a prime starting position on the opening race of the day on Sunday, Brown found grabbing a clean lap tricky thanks to the traffic on track, but he continued as he left off on Friday, building a steady pace to line up 33rd on the grid on Sunday morning.

Two races were on offer and Brown stayed out of trouble throughout the day to bring the Andy Yool Racing Mustang home to a trouble-free sixth in class in both events.

“It has been a nerve-wracking weekend being in charge of such a fantastic car on a very difficult race circuit but I`ve enjoyed every moment,” said Brown.

“Pretty much everything has been new to me this weekend, the car, circuit and team but it wasn’t long before I started to feel at ease. It was important to get a good test session on Friday and that went well and set me up for the rest of the weekend. I also managed a quick trip to the Speedworks Motorsport Driver Development simulator to get an idea of the track layout beforehand which helped massively.

The racing itself was very close and I was mindful that we needed to bring the car back undamaged to didn’t take too many risks. Donington is one of those circuits that can really catch you out so I basically drove my own races and was really pleased with 27th and 22nd overall as well as sixth in class, despite being a long way out of my comfort zone.

I must say a huge thanks to Andy Yool for the amazing opportunity to drive such a classic car, it was a superb experience and a great chance to get behind the wheel in such challenging times”.

Image credit Matt Bristow

Steve is sponsored by Fuchs Lubricants, Mintex, PIAA and Questmead, 710 Oils, Magnum Motorsport, Brake Prep and Wired Remote for Go Pro.



 

PRESS RELEASE: 18th February 2018

Brown brings back Micra for packed rally season


Rochdale rally driver Steve Brown will aim to put the disappointment of last season behind him as he plans to return to the sport with an interesting mix of events and cars for his 2018 campaign.

After a turbulent and rather sporadic year which saw him take to the wheel of a Honda Civic and Mitsubishi Lancer, Brown will embark on an assault on the Flanders International Rally Challenge (FIRC) in his popular Nissan Micra Kit Car which has undergone a series of development work during 2017.

His season in Belgium will be complemented with selected outings back in the UK, contesting the HRCR Mini Sport Cup, behind the wheel of a Mintex supported classic Mini. If his year was not looking packed enough, Brown has also been invited to compete in the Rallye Festival Trasmiera with the Micra which takes place near the Spanish city of Santander.

The 29-year-old Questmead Sales Engineer is well known for his impressive results in the Nissan and has taken several class titles in the National Asphalt Championship and FIRC podium positions. With a desire to further develop the under powered Micra after 2016, Brown was offered the loan of a more powerful Honda Civic but his season was cut short due to mechanical issues. Aside from sporadic outings in the Mitsubishi, a full championship assault has not been forthcoming.

Now, Brown will look to consolidate last year’s misfortunes and ensure he makes the most out of the season ahead. His first outing will be at the opening round of the FIRC in April, Rallye Salamandre where he will return to the event in which he claimed a class 3F podium in 2017; at the wheel of his old, borrowed Nissan Micra.

After the Rallye Festival Trasmiera, Brown will resume his FIRC championship aspirations at the ORC Canal Rally in May and is keen to get the season underway in the popular Micra Kit Car.

“It really felt like I couldn’t do anything right last season and we had some really wicked bad luck,” says Brown.

“I knew I had to develop the Micra Kit Car further but didn’t want to take a whole year out so was grateful for the support I got from people who loaned me cars to enable me to compete, but we just couldn’t pull it all together and not doing a full championship wasn’t much fun. So now the Micra is back on the road I`ll be heading back to Belgium and see what we can do with chasing down the two-wheel drive and class honours. We will mix that with the invitational outing in Spain which I`m really looking forward to. It's going to be a fun year I hope!”


As well as competing in the Micra, Brown will also try his hand at Historic rallying, with selected events in the Questmead owned Mini Cooper starting with the Tour of Flanders in August. He will then make his first UK outing at the Cheviot Rally across Otterburn in the North East at the end of the year in the machine.

“It will be a different animal all together but thanks to changing cars so much last year I have learnt to adapt to that and I`m really looking forward to the close competition in the Mini Cup,” he says.

“They are great fun to drive and despite only having two outings, I won't be there just to make up the numbers. Historic rallying is certainly very buoyant at the moment so it will be fantastic to be part of that. It will be a good mix of events too, both in Belgium and back home so I think it will round off the year nicely. It's going to be a busy one!”

 

You can follow his progress throughout the season via his website www.stevebrownrallying.co.uk.

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