If there’s one name synonymous with grade-A action around the Goodwood circuit it’s Nick Swift. A Mini man his whole life, he has run his father’s Swiftune firm for twenty years now (Swift senior having established it in 1965) and this, allied with his famous, determined driving style means guaranteed action, especially at Goodwood.
The reason for this is because Goodwood is known as a ‘power circuit’. Minis have been hugely successful competition cars due to their light weight and immense cornering and braking ability, but at Goodwood these traits will always play second fiddle to outright horsepower. So, in the Gerry Marshall Trophy race, where there were 3.0 litre Ford Capris, 3.5 litre Rover SD1s and 5.7 litre Chevy Camaros the little Mini should have had little chance. Top six at best …
‘There’s something special about Goodwood that brings it out in me’ Nick tells us. ‘In the Minis I do get that sense of the old “Mansell Mania” in that you can feel the crowd rooting for the Mini chasing the bigger cars. I approach Woodcote, fling it in giving it everything and think “they’ll like that!”‘
And like it they do. Nick never thought he had a chance of getting in front of the Rovers and Capris. ‘My top speed through the trap was 124mph while the Camaros were nudging 145mph’ he explains. ‘It’s a fast circuit, but that’s what I love about Goodwood – it’s not been changed from day one. I go racing to go fast and prefer it to circuits which have been redesigned and slowed down.’
‘There’s something special about Goodwood that brings it out in me, in the Minis I do get that sense of the old “Mansell Mania”‘
Although Nick gets a so-so- start off the line, going into Madgwick he’s straight up the inside of a Capri and then around the outside of a Rover! With the Mini’s engine screaming at times past the 8,000rpm mark this is truly epic stuff. Will he get past all the Rovers and Capris… will he even challenge either of the Camaros?
To find out we’d advise you to invest four minutes and fifty three seconds of your lunch hour to find out. Hold on, you’re in for a spectacular ride.