Carl Swift has become the first driver to commit to the DSG Trophy category of the new-for-2018 TCR UK Series.
The accolade is set to reward cars entered from the Volkswagen Group fitted with a DSG transmission – specifically the Audi RS 3 LMS, Volkswagen Golf GTi and the new Cupra TCR.
Swift – who will race behind the wheel of a brand-new Cupra for the upcoming campaign – revealed a brief conversation with TCR chief Marcello Lotti provided the framework for the trophy’s prize – a €20,000 upgrade to a sequential transmission.
“The meeting with Marcello to finalise the TCR UK details was very promising; I love the fact he just gets things done!” commented Swift.
“I mentioned to him at lunch that since the BoP [Balance of Performance] will probably never fully balance the DSG cars, a trophy for the best DSG car would be something to differentiate them.
“‘Leave it with me’ he said. Thirty minutes later, he had arranged the €20,000 sequential gearbox upgrade as the prize for the top DSG car in the championship!”
After switching from Autograss racing to the circuit equivalent in 2014, Swift came up against TCR opposition in the Creventic 24 Hour Series, sparking an interest in the category.
“I raced against TCR cars in the Creventic 24H, which is where my interest came from,” he said.
“I wanted to step up for this year and try a higher profile championship; my initial thought was the Clio Cup but when TCR UK was announced I knew that it was right for me and so I started looking for a car.”
The 35-year old also paid tribute to the championship’s efforts to control costs whilst also attracting interested from established European outfits with TCR machines.
“It’s so interesting to think that several European teams are considering the UK championship for their 2018 campaign,” he admitted.
“TCR UK should be a roaring success, just like the German series, and so I am now looking forward to the season more than ever.”