In a class that has inarguably been the providence of the Toyota MR2 for that past few years Meredith Brown has once again proved that she has the measure of her competitors by adding another jacket to her closet. As a member of the Sports Car Club del Valley Rio Grande (a chapter of the Rio Grande Region SCCA) the 2008 E Stock Ladies Champion drove a 1993 Toyota MR2 on Hoosier tires to her third National Championship.
RR: Is this your first attendance at Nationals?
MB: Although I began racing in the early 1990s, I did not go to Nationals until 2002. I have competed every year since.
RR: Is this your first National Championship?
MB: I was picked to win in 2002 but did not live up to the billing until the next year. I won again in 2004 and then went through a dry spell until 2008. All my championships are in ESL.
RR: What was your favorite memory of the competition?
MB: The first year I was at Nationals it was to watch Paul, and I decided spectating was for the birds. Driving was where it was at and I have been having a great time behind the wheel ever since.
RR: What do you think was your key to success? Who has most influenced you? Who inspires you?
MB: My husband introduced me to the sport and has patiently and generously shared his knowledge with me over the years. It took quite a while for me to absorb and translate that knowledge into success on course, and I still rely on him to set me straight after I walk the entire course thinking I donâ€™t really need to use the brakes. I also had the good fortune to become friends with many experienced racers such as the Fletchers, Baileys, Tunnels, Tom Berry and many others who exhibit great sportsmanship along with tremendous driving skill.
RR: Do you have any special pre-race routine, or any superstitions you follow?
MB: I donâ€™t do anything special right before driving but I do like to be strapped in and ready to go with plenty of time to spare so I do not feel rushed and I can go through the course a few times in my head.
RR: Do you have any driving aids or tools you use to help you?
MB: We do not run any data collection systems or cameras on the car but I do find it very helpful to get feedback from Paul when he can watch my runs.
RR: What do you think you do differently than your competition?
MB: It often seems to come down to who can get clean runs, and at Nationals the weather conditions are frequently a significant factor.
RR: Have you attended any driving school?
MB: I have not attended any formal schools.
RR: Describe your driving style.
MB: I would have to describe my style as aggressively methodical. I have never really developed the skill of on the fly driving. I need to have a plan before I attack the course, but once I am out there I try to drive the tires off the car.
RR: What was your first â€“and favorite autocross car?
MB: The first car I race in was a Chrysler Conquest. My favorite car is the ES MR2 â€“ hard to argue with success!
RR: If you could change one Solo rule â€“ either for your specific class or in general — what would it be?
MB: If we could add more runs to the Solo format I certainly would not complain.
RR: Who would you like to thank for your success?
MB: My wonderful husband and the great SCCA family of racing enthusiasts who always make racing so much fun.
Photos courtesy of GotCone.com and Merideth Brown
For copies of photos email david @ evorticity.com