All at WSR are extremely saddened to hear of the passing of engine preparations expert Neil Brown.

Powerplants prepared by his Spalding-based Neil Brown Engineering (NBE) business have powered WSR racing cars in both Formula 3 and touring car competition since 1989.

In that time WSR have won 15 overall BTCC titles using NBE engines plus a pair of F3 crowns with racing legends Mika Hakkinen and Rubens Barrichello in the 1990s.

Even today, NBE engines continue to power the BMW 330e M Sport, which is currently leading the race to win a record-breaking 10th BTCC Manufacturers’ crown and an eighth in a row.

Team Principal, Dick Bennetts, shares his memories of Neil….

“I met Neil in 1988. Our F3 engines were not that strong, so I contacted Mugen in Japan and spoke to their boss, Hirotoshi Honda Jr. He said he was interested in an engine programme in the UK and wanted a company to prepare the units. I set up meetings with three tuners, one of which was Neil Brown Engineering.

“I’d got his name from Keith at Pacific Racing. They were running the Marlboro junior team in Formula Ford 2000 and used Neil’s engines, which were going very well. We had the meeting, I suggested Mr Honda choose NBE and that kicked everything off.

“We finished second in our first season with NBE engines with Allan McNish in 1989 and then won the title with Mika Hakkinen and Rubens Barrichello in ’90 and ’91 and took every one of our F3 wins from that point together.

“The relationship continued when we ran the ‘works’ Honda BTCC Super Touring team in 1999-2000 and when the series went NGTC, we converted the BMW engine to run in turbo-charged configuration and resumed the relationship with Neil and NBE that continues to the present day.

“He was a very good man, an honest man and someone I could always speak to openly given our engineering backgrounds. You could have a laugh with him and you could always trust him, even when his engines were also being run by our biggest rivals. I once helped him with some tweaks on the Mustang he raced in historics.

“He’ll be sadly missed, but I’m sure his legacy will live on through NBE.”