World Challenge champion Paul Brown dies

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Pirelli World Challenge

Paul Brown competed for nearly 20 years at the Pirelli World Challenge. Image: Bryce Womeldurf/Flickr/CC BY-ND

The 2011 GTS champion of the Sports Car Club of America’s Pro Racing Pirelli World Challenge Series, Paul Brown, has died of skin cancer less than eight months after he was diagnosed with the disease. The popular race car driver was only 43 years old.

The career of Paul Brown

Brown was the son of the legendary race driver Kenny Brown, of Kenny Brown Performance. He started racing at 16, starting in autocross and gymkhana events in street vehicles. He competed in the Sports Car Club of America World Challenge for nearly 20 years. He finished top ten in more than half of those races.

His career culminated last year when he became the 2011 GTS champion of the SCCA Pro Racing Pirelli World Challenge Series. His team, Paul Brown/Tiger Racing, also won the team championship and earned Ford the manufacturers’ championship.

In 2000 he moved to Covina, Calif. to work at Tiger racing, the team founded by Tom Hollfelder and his wife, Bea. He was with them until the end, and, along the way, courted the Hollfelder’s daughter Carol, herself a World Challenge racer. They were married in 2005.

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Brown was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma in March, 2012, only two weeks before the start of the racing season. With Brown enduring cancer treatments, Justin Bell piloted his eBay Motors/Kenny Brown Performance Ford Mustang Boss 302S for most of the season. Not the kind of Mustang you could hope to find at, say, Courtesy Ford Brooklyn.

Final races

However, Brown, fully aware that his prognosis was dire, insisted on driving in the doubleheader at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in Bowmanville, Ontario in June so that he could experience the thrill once more. He finished third in the first half of the event. The next day, in the second half, he finished in the top ten, slowed down by a broken header.

Brown raced just one more time, as a last minute entry at the HAWK at Road America with Brian Redman in mid-July. He finished sixth overall and first in his class in his Tiger Racing Ferrari 512M.

Summing up

Born July 8, 1969, he passed away last weekend on Saturday, Oct. 13. His passing is mourned by racing fans everywhere.

Tom Campbell, President and CEO of SCCA, said:

“On and off the track, Paul Brown was an inspiration to us all. He worked his way up over the years, from a driver fighting for top 10 finishes to a driver fighting for the Championship. He is a true Champion and will always be a part of the SCCA Pro Racing family and our history. Our thoughts are with his wife, Carol, and the rest of his family.”


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