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Paul Swift Interview
It’s been a while since our last interview so we got back at it and found professional stunt driver Paul Swift willing to answer our questions. Paul Swift (age 28) from Darlington started stunt driving when he was 8.
Where does your passion for cars and driving come from?
Its in my blood really my Dad Russ turned his passion for Motorsport in the early 80¹s into a full time job doing driving demonstrations for car manufacturers all over the world.
He got me started over 20 years ago now and I’ve never really thought about doing anything else.
What car do you drive yourself?
The cars I would drive on a daily basis are owned by Ford UK (team sponsor) but I’m lucky enough to own my own Mitsubishi Evo 9 and a classic Mini cooper S race car.
What is your favourite car?
Probably my Evo, I’ve spent most of the summer learning how to drive it somewhere near to its potential. Its been a lot of fun.
How old were you when you did your first stunt and in what car?
I won a place in the Guinness book of records at seven years old for driving a garden lawn mower on just two wheels over 200m around Croft circuit.
What is your most memorable stunt/show?
Probably the New Mini Adventure launch, I did various TV commercials & Live Shows here in the UK and even travelled to the Middle East & America for the New Italian Job
What is your favourite stunt car?
A Honda Fireblade powered Rage Buggy. It¹s a real challenge to keep it in a straight line! Over the past few years we have used these for the MPH stunt shows in Earls Court & NEC. There’s not a lot of room inside the arena, but just enough to drift them between the concrete barriers.
Any accidents / near misses?
I performed a live show at the Super Special stage in Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium in 2005 for the World Rally Championships. The plan was to do a full lap of the course on two wheels. Unfortunately the last corner was a right hander so I had to bank the car right over to get round it.
All the petrol ran to the side of the tank and I lost power. I sat stationary for 2 seconds and then it just keeled over onto the door. Quite embarrassing but the crowd went wild on the air horns!!
What stunt would you like to do in the future?
Well it just so happens I’m heading out to South Africa in February for a show, they want me to do something brand new and fantastic.
So any ideas please mail to paul [at] paulswift.com as long as it doesn’t get me killed!!
What is your most memorable passenger?
Just a few weeks ago I was asked to take two 5th gear presenters around their test track in a new Mini diesel. This time though they were blindfolded and stuck in the back seat! After only 2 laps Tom Ford (the hairy one) went very quiet, then green and threw up, the smell was horrendous!
You performed at the Carbon Black track-day, would you ever consider taking part in an event like Carbon Black or Gumball 3000?
Definitely, the whole atmosphere behind those events is incredible, I’d love to experience the buzz of driving some of the most amazing roads in the world – but I suspect I’d probably get arrested on the first day!!
Is it hard to become part of your stunt team?
All the drivers on the team have been national champions in Motorsport many times, between the main 4 of us we’ve won over 40 titles. You have to be able to perform under pressure at the highest level to do this kind of thing otherwise it all gets a bit messy!!
What kind of skills do you need to become a precision driver?
You need to know a bit about cars, always thinking one step ahead have quick reactions, good accuracy and good memory, some of the choreographed sequences we do are over 8 minutes long.
What car would you still like to perform a stunt in?
Probably a Ferrari Enzo they look just awesome to drive, I¹m trying to get one for my wedding day next year.. should be a fun ride to church!!!
What are your future plans and ambitions?
I have been really lucky in life so far, I have achieved more than I’d ever imagined, so anything else is just a bonus!!
Anything you would like to say?
Shameless Plug, for more information on Paul Swift & his precision driving team click on paulswift.com
Special thanks to Derek Wallis from rallyrider.co.uk for setting up the interview.