Swift Sport Cup's new blood Of the four Suzukis that will compete on the Jim Clark International Rally, the third round of the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship's Swift Sport Cup, three are either new to the series or returning after a...
Swift Sport Cup's new blood
Of the four Suzukis that will compete on the Jim Clark International Rally, the third round of the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship's Swift Sport Cup, three are either new to the series or returning after a break.
Runaway winners of the opening two rounds of the one-make series for these Rally 1 class cars are Mikko Pajunen and Janne Perala and it is the Finnish duo that leads the field away from Duns on Friday night. Their dominance is likely to be put to the test though, as the championship moves onto asphalt for the first time, an unfamiliar surface for the twenty-five year old who only began rallying two seasons ago.
Rival driver on the opening two events David Harrison will miss the first foray onto sealed surface. But the Manxman's co-driver John Connor will take his place alongside Chesterfield's Richard Boot, returning after more than twelve months away from the Swift Sport Cup. More used to having his wife alongside, it will be a plunge into the unknown for Boot, although he did contest the Jim Clark Rally in 2008 and Connor took fifth overall on his way to the BRC Challenge co-driver's title in 2009.
Brand new to the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship and the Swift Sport Cup is seventeen year-old Tom Clark. Despite having only just reached the UK's minimum driving age, the Essex youngster has already been rallying for two full seasons in Latvia. He began aged just fourteen with Autocross experience already under his belt and with Aggie Foster alongside contested eleven events, so should be one to watch straight out of the box.
Although not registered for the championship, local driver and last year's Suzuki winner on his home event, Gordon Nichol will be out in his Swift for a one-off appearance and will no doubt be keen to prove his pace against the flying Finns.
Whatever the outcome on the Borders lanes, the Swift Sport Cup still offers great value rallying to its competitors and great entertainment for the spectators, as these are the smallest engined cars in the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship and the crews have to push hard to eke out every ounce of performance.
Despite giving away around 160 horsepower to the front-running turbocharged cars, the Swifts still face 130 miles over Friday and Saturday, all hoping to complete the route without mishaps in what is forecast to be showery conditions.