Swiftune’s 2018 season round up
As the end of the 2018 season has come to a close, it’s been a successful year for Willow 2 the Swiftune works Mini campaigned by Nick Swift across Europe. The car was the most successful Mini winning the most races, without missing a beat. A year for team Swiftune to be proud of! Here’s a full re-cap on the full year.
The year started at the snowy Goodwood Members Meeting back in March. The event is the first race weekend for most competitors and for Swiftune is one of the busiest weekends running four customer cars and two of our own, featuring in both the Jack Sears Trophy and the Gerry Marshall Trophy. Even with snow on the ground, the event went ahead and the works Mini finished 1st in class and 5th overall in a hectic race full of slides, spins and safety cars.
For the first round of the Masters 2018 season, Willow 2 traveled to Imola, Italy but unfortunately didn’t end successfully. Nick was the fastest Mini in qualifying and looking set for a dominant class win, but it all went wrong three laps from the end when contact from a Falcon meant it was the end of the race stuck in the gravel and missed out on the class win. Onward’s and upward’s, next it was to the Donnington Historic over the bank holiday weekend taking part in both U2TC and HRDC. Nick was flying in both races, getting pole in both and a race win in HRDC. However when it got to the U2TC race, Nick suffered a flat battery just before the start of the race which meant having to start from the pit lane. Pure skill and determination meant that he was able to battle through the grid, finishing 1st Mini and incredibly made it onto the podium in 2nd overall.
With the season now it full swing, for the second international race of the season the Swiftune team travelled to the legendary Pau circuit for the 2018 Pau Historic Grand Prix. The FIA race was organised by long time Swiftune customer and friend Philippe Quirière from Mini World Centre in France. Unfortunately due to date clashes and a few people dropping out the grid was a small one but featured plenty of great racing from drivers all over Europe including France, UK and Austria. After the race an ecstatic Nick said “It was an honour to be on the podium at this historic venue where the first ever Grand Prix was held in 1901, would never miss an opportunity to race at this iconic street circuit.” 1st, 2nd and 3rd went to Nick Swift, Mark Burnett and Philippe Quirière, all Swiftune powered.
Back home for the next round of the Masters championship, at the increasingly popular Brands Hatch Masters Historic Festival. This event is always busy for us with many customers competing including all Swiftune powered Dave Edgecombe, Ron Maydon, Barry Sime, Kevin O’Connor and William Ward, who were all flying throughout the weekend. After qualifying 1st in class and 8th overall, Nick shone in the race to take fourth overall, dominating the Mini Class.
Unfortunately due to work commitments we were unable to attend the next round of the Masters championship in Most, Czech Republic. But Ron Maydon was waving the flag for Swiftune as he went on to win the class, in a brilliant race.
At the end of July, it was one of the biggest events in the Historic racing calendar; The 2018 Silverstone Classic. As always it was a good Mini attendance and great battles with Endaf Owens, Nick Swift and Chris Middlehurst running nose to tail, switching positions lap after lap, as their lead Mini battle dropped down the overall order. After the race Nick said “Oh that was a fabulous race”, Swift beamed, “I really enjoyed that. I really tried to keep calm, and save some for the second part of the race. Not that there was much left!” After lots of place swapping the two other leading Mini’s came into trouble and Nick added another 2 second advantage finishing 1st Mini and 14th overall out of over 40 cars.
In 2018, Goodwood Revival celebrated 20 years of the iconic event and Swiftune was there with four Minis’ to compete in the ever entertaining St Mary’s trophy. The St Mary’s trophy is split into 2 parts, part 1 for the celebrities and part 2 for the owners and finishes on an aggregated result. Part 1 of the race, for the professionals was on the Saturday, and had Dickie Meaden and Tom Blomqvist, both Swiftune powered, battling for first in class and 9th overall. Unfortunately after a tap from a Cortina, Meaden spun into the wall and ended his race and due to damage meant the end of owner, Jason Stanley’s, weekend. Tom Blomqvist was flying and claimed first Mini and 9th overall and Jonny Adam in the works car finishing 2nd. It was a very disjointed race on the Sunday for the owners with plenty of accidents resulting in safety cars. After the final crash and the race had restarted there was unfortunately just 4 laps left to race, Nick was pushing hard to get a good result. As the chequered flag fell, Nick finished 6th overall and first Mini followed by Stig Blomqvist and Charlie Cooper, grandson of John Cooper, in 3rd. The final aggregated results were: Stig and Tom Blomqvist finished 1st Mini and 6th overall in Nick Jarvis’ Swiftune powered Mini, followed by Nick Swift and Jonny Adam in the Swiftune works Mini 7th overall and Charlie Cooper partnered with Jorg Muller finished 14th and 3rd Mini.
Swiftunes penultimate round of the 2018 season was at the Spa six hour, and it was one of the busiest events for team Swiftune running multiple cars/engines and Nick competing in four races over the weekend. Masters qualifying was a special one for Nick as he not only qualified fastest Mini and 11th overall he also got the fastest lap ever for a Mini round Spa, getting an incredible time of 3.052. When it came to the race, Nick finished 1st in class and shared the podium with Endaf Owens and Swiftune customer Dave Edgecombe. It was also brilliant racing from Swiftune customer Mark Burnett, who just missed out on the podium finishing 4th. It was looking to be a clean sweep in the U2TC race, but when it came to the final lap Nick let old age get the better of him, thinking he had seen the chequered flag and slowed down, letting Endaf past to win the class. And finally, the closing round of the Masters 2018 season and final race with Nick in Willow 2 was at Dijon in October. In the race Nick managed to gain a 5 second lead over Curley in the Mini Class, however on lap 25 he was given a 5-second penalty (to be added at the end of the race) for exceeding track limits one too many times. Luckily, the rest of the race gave him enough time to increase his lead over the second Mini to 11 seconds to go on and win the Mini class despite his time penalty. A successful end to an incredibly busy but rewarding season for the Swiftune team.
A massive well done to all of our customers who competed over the 2018 season. We look forward to 2019, as we celebrate 60 years of the Mini.