Darlington rally driver Paul Swift collected the 2012 AS Performance North of England Tarmac Rally Championship trophy last night and is now planning to celebrate with the two forthcoming rallies to be held at Croft over the next few weeks.
The seven times British champion clinched the title following a superb top six placing in his Motoscope-supported 2.0 litre Ford Escort Mk2 RS1800 on the Stobart Rail Pendragon Stages in September and added his name to the impressive list of former winners including John Pye, Richard Mawson, David Robson, George Grieve, Bob Dennis, Bob Grant, Michael Glendinning and Barry Lindsay.
The success wasn't the only one in 2012 as Paul added the Fuchs Titan Race ANCC Stage Rally Tarmac Championship to his list of achievements, which he won for a second successive year.
Now Paul is concentrating on the forthcoming Northallerton AC's Christmas Stages Rally which takes place on Saturday 29th December followed three weeks later by the Darlington and District Motor Club-organised Jack Frost Stages Rally on Sunday 20th January 2013.
Last year, Swift managed to finish third in both events yet ironically behind different crews on each rally. He followed Kevin Procter (Subaru WRC) and Chris Anderson (Ford Fiesta) home on the Specsavers Christmas Stages Rally and Paul Bird (Ford Focus WRC) and Martyn Tinker (Lotus Exige) on the Autogas 2000 Jack Frost Stages Rally.
Nonetheless, two podium places was an impressive achievement for Paul in a two-wheel drive car on the very slippery and icy stages which normally are associated with the events and comprise around 40 miles of stages at the racing track just south of Darlington.
Paul commented: "It's great to pick up the 2012 AS Performance North East Tarmac Rally Championship trophy as that was one of my priorities at the start of the season and to see so many top drivers listed on it adds to the prestige. Now I'm planning the two rallies at Croft and we are busy preparing the car but the one thing you can never plan at this time of year is the weather. Either way, I'll be giving each event a good shot and hope we can go one or two places better than last year before deciding what our plans are for 2013."
Paul would like to thank his sponsors and partners for their help and looks forward to another successful season in 2013.
Smith and Allan Classic Oils www.smithandallan.com
Smart Independent Financial Advisors www.smartifa.co.uk
Evalu8d learning and development www.evalu8d.com
Carpet Time www.carpet-time.co.uk
Rockliffe Hall www.rockliffehall.com
Other Rally Partners
James Bean Motorsport
Pirelli Tyres www.pirelli.com
Cleveland Motorhomes www.clevelandmotorhomes.co.uk
Welund Training Solutions www.welundtraining.com
Avo Suspension www.avouk.com