It might not officially be the weekend yet but we can start early, right? To kick off a couple of days of relaxation, you should watch this video from Goodwood Road & Racing, which takes us all the way back to the 2015 St Mary’s Trophy at Goodwood Revival. More specifically, we get to watch the battle between Nick Swift in a classic Mini take on Alex Furiani in a ’70s Alfa Romeo GTA.
Nick Swift is famous for building some of the coolest classic Mini racers and also for racing them… bravely. In this race, Swift does battle with a much more powerful Alfa GTA and is constantly right on the tail of the Italian, never letting it go. Despite being down on power, Swift’s combination of courage and incredible chassis tuning help keep him right on the Alfa’s tail, even passing it a couple of times. However, so much of Swift’s ability to keep pace with the more powerful Alfa has to do with the original Mini’s uncanny ability to carry speed through corners.
If you’ve ever driven a classic Mini, you’ll know what I mean. Because they’re so light, so low to the ground, have an inherent low center of gravity and a pretty much square wheel base and track, old-school Minis can corner at speeds that boggle the mind. With the right tires, an O.G. Mini can carry speeds through corners that would embarrass modern supercars. That otherworldly grip combined with Swift’s lion-like courage and what you get is some of the most entertaining racing you can possibly watch.
There’s one turn in particular that blows my mind, personally. At around the 1:20 mark, you see Swift take a fast right hander in his tiny classic Mini at a speed that would make mere mortals lose their lunch and bounces off the curb, onto just two wheels for a bit, yet he still keeps his composure and continues on as if it’s nothing. That’s superhero stuff, right there. Watch this video with a cup of morning coffee and get ready for the weekend. While you’re at it, also check this video of Chris Harris driving one of Nick Swift’s Minis and learn more about the incredible engineering behind them.