Rac­ers from the 70s re-united


Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Sport - By An­drew Gi­d­ley

Roger Swaf­fer and Brian Davis were team-mates back in the 1970s.

They raced Corti­nas, two 21-year-olds do­ing what they loved after form­ing Ash­ford’s first ral­ly­cross team.

The pair lost touch, but have now been re-united with Davis’ com­pany, Chil­ham-based Au­to­quip, spon­sor­ing Swaf­fer’s son Matt as he bids for a se­cond suc­ces­sive Toyo Tyres BMW Pro­duc­tion Class Cham­pi­onship.

Davis and his son Ben, who runs the busi­ness with Brian, and the Swaf­fers got to­gether for a pho­to­call ahead of last week­end’s lat­est round on the Grand Prix cir­cuit at Silverstone.

Matt fin­ished se­cond be­hind cham­pi­onship ri­val Will Dav­i­son, mak­ing the race for the ti­tle, even more of a two-horse af­fair, as the pair con­tinue to dom­i­nate the sea­son’s stand­ings.

Race en­gi­neer Roger said: “The news­pa­per cut­ting brings back great mem­o­ries of when we raced back then.

“We hadn’t spo­ken for years, and then Brian and Ben then saw Matt’s Face­book page, and they got in touch and agreed to back us.”

He added: “Matt and I are not in­ter­ested in com­ing se­cond – we want to win it. It was al­ways go­ing to be be­tween Dav­i­son and Matt for the ti­tle. Will won both, with Matt one and half sec­onds be­hind him, with a 12 se­cond gap to the third placed man.

“The Rac­ing Sa­loons race was also tak­ing place at the same time on the Grand Prix cir­cuit so there were more than 50 cars on the track at the same time, mean­ing Matt and Will were bat­tling be­tween them­selves for the lead, and try­ing to get past the others.”

Spec­u­la­tion con­tin­ues about the fu­ture of the Bri­tish Grand Prix be­ing staged at Silverstone, with a de­ci­sion ex­pected next week about the fu­ture of the race be­yond 2019.

Swaf­fer is a Silverstone fan, hail­ing the Northamp­ton­shire cir­cuit as one of the best in the world.

He said: “It’s a bril­liant place and ridicu­lous to think the race won’t take place there, but I sup­pose it’s all about money.”

‘The news­pa­per cut­ting brings back great mem­o­ries’

A news­pa­per cut­ting from 1970, with Roger Swaf­fer (left) pic­tured with me­chanic Martin Baker. In­set, Roger (left) and Brian Davis (also top right) re­united

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