SUZUKI SWIFT SPORT CUP Seven Suzukis will again contest the fourth round of the Tesco 99 Octane MSA British Rally Championship's Suzuki Swift Sport Cup on the Todd's Leap Ulster International Rally. Mark Gamble has had back-to back ...
SUZUKI SWIFT SPORT CUP
Seven Suzukis will again contest the fourth round of the Tesco 99 Octane MSA British Rally Championship's Suzuki Swift Sport Cup on the Todd's Leap Ulster International Rally.
Mark Gamble has had back-to back victories on the last two events, but they have not been without drama. He put the car off the road a couple of times on the Jim Clark, then dropped several minutes on the Isle of Man too. The incident actually re-enlivened the battle after Ross Forde had seemingly dropped out of contention with a holed sump. County Galway's Forde is the only Irish driver in the series, unfortunately languishing in sixth after a non-score on the Pirelli, but taking runner up sport on both subsequent occasions.
First round winner Gordon Nichol had a lacklustre home event around Duns, but he would have wished for a repeat of that rather that the spectacular off in the appalling conditions on the Isle of Man. He cleared a stone wall on a right-hander, but not before demolishing a good part of it with his pristine Swift.
An International feel is enhanced by Danish Federation backed driver Niki Bjerg, who also competes in a Swift at home. Whilst used to asphalt events, he is in unity with the other crews, in describing each successive event as the best and most taxing they have contested. He currently lies second, but the challenge of the Ulster lanes will be another test in his British Rally Championship debut.
With Nichol fourth, David Higgins' TQ.com protege young Nick Rowland is a place behind, following a stunned podium place on the Pirelli. He actually retired but managed to use Super Rally rules to his advantage, scoring valuable second place points.
Evo magazine's Henry Catchpole is used to writing reports on car tests, but even he is beginning to run out of superlatives in his first season competing at BRC level. Improvement has been steady but noticeable over the three events thus far, taking a very well earned third place on the Isle of Man.
Husband and wife crew Richard and Emma Boot missed the first round, but are also improving as the season progresses. Steady runs on the first tarmac events bode well for another step closer to a podium finish before the end of the year.
All the crews drive identical 125-bhp Suzuki Swift Sports which have been built by Monster Sport Europe (MSE). The gearbox, engine and ECU are sealed and the championship has its own scrutineer to ensure fair play. Suzuki GB and MSE provide on-event technical support to keep the cars running, with all the cars servicing together in the Armagh City Hotel's Swift Sport Cup village.