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Carl Swift: ‘Robert Gilmour ‘just ran me onto the grass’

Carl Swift says that Robert Gilmour ‘just ran me onto the grass’ in the opening TCR UK race at Oulton Park, with the ensuing contact and impact with the barriers ruling both drivers out of race two.

Swift had run wide at the preceding Cascades corner on lap two, losing the CUPRA driver speed heading into the high-speed Island bend.

WestCoast Racing’s Jessica Bäckman passed on the left-hand side, with DPE Motorsport’s Gilmour following immediately behind, the Alfa Romeo pushing the rear bumper of the Volkswagen.

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However, Gilmour then moved to the right to take the racing line for the Island bend left-hander, with Swift still on the line, and the duo made contact, pitching both drivers into the barriers at high-speed.

Whilst Swift was relieved to escape unscathed, the shunt put paid to his weekend, with the Maximum Motorsport driver laying blame for the incident with the Scot.

“It’s a testament to the cars really,”said Swift. “We went in there flat out, and I don’t think we got any braking before it was on the grass and in the wall.

“We came out of Cascades and had some understeer, so I got a really bad exit and was out on the right-hand side.

“Jessica Bäckman managed to get up the side of me so I let that go and stayed out to the right. I think Gilmour was right behind Jess, so he came to the side of me as well, in the braking zone, and he moved over to the racing line with me at the side of him.

“I don’t think he’d registered that I had not been passed. He just ran me onto the grass, so I had two wheels on the grass and couldn’t brake, and he eventually ran over my front wheel which fired him off in mid-air and into the fence.”

Swift was disappointed to miss out on the chance to start the second race, where he would have begun the race in the reverse grid pole position.

“I was on pole as well – I’d played the whole weekend for pole in race two, I got it, and now I can’t sit on it! So I’m gutted I’m going to miss that.

“ don’t know what the damage is cost-wise, but hopefully not too much that I can’t afford to get it out for the next round.”

Gilmour admits that he had little recollection of the accident, with the Alfa Romeo suffering extensive damage in the shunt.

“I’m just shaken – I’m still trying to process it,” said Gilmour. “I fed myself in at the start, and I had just started to feed myself into the race.

“I had seen that Jessica was on the inside and so I thought I’d follow her, and I was actually shoving her up the straight because I had a bit more grunt out of the corner.

“Then the next thing I knew I was in the barriers. It was crazy – I have no idea what happened at all.

“It’s such a shame for the team – that’s who I feel worse for. I don’t understand why it’s happened – that’s the biggest thing.

“At the end of the day we had the racing line – if somebody else wants to back out then they need to back out.

“I’d seen Jessica got a much better exit than Carl, and I got a very good exit as well. I think Carl made a mistake, so I thought that I’d stay on the inside as well as you would. I got a very good exit as well and so I got shoving the Golf to get past as well.

“As soon as I came to the corner I was nudged – I was doing 120 mph up there and it was a massive shunt.

“I’ve just got a sore head and I’m gutted for the team.”

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