The Early Years
From a very young age Steve enjoyed the thrill and challenge of competitive sport. Competing in a variety of individual and team sports whilst schooling at Prince Alfred College in Adelaide – Australian Rules Football, Tennis, Athletics, Cricket, Snow and Water Skiing – Steve has always relished the chance to lead his team to success at the highest level. Growing up in the Adelaide hills on the family racehorse and beef cattle stud meant livestock also played a large part in Steve’s early life. Competing nationally in Royal Shows and 3 Day Equestrian Eventing since the age of 4, Steve showed a natural flair for horses. Maturing through is early teenage years he learnt the art of breaking in and training young racehorses to success or educating them to be highly qualified dressage or cross country show jumpers.
Motorsport ~ the beginning
Steve was a relative late starter in motorsport, which makes his meteoric rise to the top all the more impressive. Growing up in the Adelaide hills on the family property gave Steve the opportunity to get behind the steering wheel from a very young age. The years spent driving the ‘farm ute’ in the slippery paddocks around the property allowed Steve to develop a natural feel for driving. Steve’s first competitive outing was in the 2001 Grand Prix Rally, bursting on to the scene finishing ahead of many high profile drivers including Peter Brock and Neal Bates. Targa Tasmania the following year was a highlight – Steve’s first attempt in 2002 saw him running second to Jim Richards until the final day when damage from an off road excursion curbed his progress and a dream debut result. Encouraged by unfinished business Steve returned the following year to record a strong 2nd outright in Richards’ narrowest winning margin to date, the closest anyone had come to beating him!
Australian Rally Championship
Inspired by these results Steve was encouraged to advance his motorsport career and promptly turned his attention towards contesting season-long national championships. Steve made the switch from tarmac to gravel to contest the Australian Rally Championship in the Subaru RS Rally Challenge one-make series. A breeding ground for young talent and a hotly
contested series, Steve won the championship in his first year. Winning the Subaru Challenge came with a healthy prize purse, free entry to Australia’s World Rally Championship round and a test with the Subaru Rally Team Australia, just the ingredients Steve needed to make the step up to the top level Group N Championship.
It was at this point that Steve teamed up with his current co-driver and Smoothline co-contributor Bernie Webb and together using an older model ex-Subaru Rally Team WRX STi. They won the Privateers Cup Championship (again at their first attempt) along with outright stage wins against the highly funded and very experienced professional factory outfits.
Out Performing Factory Teams
At this point Steve’s career really took off, winning rounds of the Australian Rally Championship (gravel), Targa Tasmania (tarmac), Targa Wrest Point, Rally Tasmania twice and the Adelaide Hills Tarmac Rally, before trying his hand at circuit racing and winning on debut in the Australian Manufacturer’s Championship, World Time Attack and recording fastest laps at the Bathurst 12 Hour on his first attempt at the mountain. Today you will find Steve competing in most forms of motorsport or passing on his knowledge by instructing at racetracks and Rallyschools around the country.