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Podium placing for Swift on Jack Frost Stages rally

Podium placing for Swift on Jack Frost Stages rally
Posted 22nd January 2012

With one of the strongest fields assembled in recent years, Darlington rally driver Paul Swift saw off much of the opposition to claim a brilliant third place overall on today's Autogas 2000 Jack Frost Stages Rally held at Croft Circuit, North Yorkshire.

Along with co-driver David Cox, the pair also took a class victory in their rapid 2.0 litre Ford Escort Mk2 RS1800 in the dry and blustery conditions to lead the 2012 AS Performance North of England Tarmacadam Championship following the Darlington and District Motor Club event.

With eight fast stages around the North Yorkshire race track ahead of them, Swift and Cox posted fourth fastest time on SS1 before stopping the clocks third fastest on the second stage despite a brief rain shower. A big spin on SS3 saw the seven-times British champion drop vital seconds before consolidating his fourth position at the lunchtime halt following SS4.

A steady run round the fifth stage was followed by another third fastest time on SS6 and with main two-wheel drive rival Martyn Tinker hitting trouble, Swift moved up into third position after the penultimate stage behind the Ford Focus WRC of eventual winner Paul Bird and the MG Metro 6R4 of Chris Wise.

As darkness fell for the final stage, Swift took no chances and brought the car home to a third consecutive top three placing in as many rallies at Croft and considering the strength of the entry, probably the best result in the couple of years he's been competing in the sport.

Paul commented: "That's three in a row at Croft so I'm happy to be on the tip of the podium again! It was always going to be difficult considering the strength of opposition so I'm even more pleased with the result which has to rank as one of my best to date. I drove like an old woman on the last stage as I wanted to bring the car home safely but I've raised the bar now so we need to continue to improve. Thanks to the organisers and marshals for putting on a great event, I really enjoyed it and the car was fantastic."

Swift's next event is the Legend Fires North West Stages Rally based in Blackpool in two weeks time (February 3/4) where he will be looking to continue his run of good results prior to an assault on the MSA Asphalt Rally Championship this season.

1. Paul Bird/Kirsty Riddick, Ford Focus WRC, 0:51:40
2. Chris Wise/Tracey Taylor West, MG Metro 6R4, 0:53:52
3. Paul Swift/David Cox, Ford Escort Mk2, 0:55:25
4. Pete Gibson/Josh Davison, Mitsubishi Evo6, 0:55:33
5. Simon Bowen/Richard Robinson, Subaru Impreza, 0:55:59
6. Andy Davison/Mike Curry, Mitsubishi Evo5, 0:56:00
7. Martin Elsdon/John Frew, Ford Escort Mk2, 0:56:03
8. Steve Quigley/Terry Martin, Renault Clio 16v, 0:56:21
9. Ed Todd/Andy Brown, GTM Coupe, 0:56:37
10. Paul Alsop/Chris Alsop, Chrysler Sunbeam, 0:57:09

Paul Swift
Paul Swift