Swanwick’s BTCC adventure continues

Chris Swanwick (no.31) in action at Silverstone on Sunday. Photo by Jonathan Hobley
Chris Swanwick (no.31) in action at Silverstone on Sunday. Photo by Jonathan Hobley

CHRIS Swanwick enjoyed another progressive weekend as he took part in the final round of the British Touring Car Championship at Silverstone.

CHRIS Swanwick enjoyed another progressive weekend as he took part in the final round of the British Touring Car Championship at Silverstone.

It was the Greasley teenager’s second race at the highest level of saloon car racing in the UK, and it was revealed after the meeting that he has earned himself the possibility of a part-time, sponsored drive for his team, Rob Austin Racing, next season.

He said: “It’s great news. We came to Silverstone thinking it would be only our second and possibly last meeting, knowing that a full season’s budget was out of our reach for next year, but team principle Richard Austin as offered to give us a lifeline.”

Swanwick, 17, was 26th on the grid for the first race after contact with Jeff Smith during qualifying, and despite climbing to 15th during the race, a flat tyre on lap 17th forced a visit to the pits and he eventually finished 22nd.

Race two saw a good battle in the middle of the field, including with 2010 champion Jason Plato, and Swanwick this time finished in 17th.

Race three saw Swanwick put in his fastest lap of the weekend, just seven tenths of a second slower than race winner Tom Chilton, but mechanical problems forced him to retire from the race.

Dave Lampett, RBR’s senior engineer said: “The lad’s naturally quick, he gets straight on the pace, and if we can get him a full season next year he will fast become a top ten finisher,

“He forgets, like a lot of us do, he is only 17 - five years younger than any other driver on the grid - and only in his second meeting.

“It’s only his fifth time in the car and you have the likes of Plato and Neal out there that have been doing it 20 years.”