1992 was a fantastic year for auto racing in Canada, as we still had the Honda Michelin Series, the Players GM Motorsport Series and the Firehawk Series, all three of which provided some of the best competition ever seen. Sadly, it was also a time when all three series were coming to an end, a loss which affected Canadian racing for years.
Regular Firehawk Series competitor Eric Nummelin (He’s the guy who owns the RX-7 I raced a while back) has started digitizing some of his in car video from those days. This clip from on board the NTN Bearings Suzuki Swift GT was taken at the 1992 Firestone Firehawk Twin 250’s at Mont Tremblant.
Having rallied a Swift myself, it is great to hear the wail of that twin-cam 1,300 as it spins up near redline.
Before any of you smarty pants know it alls comment on how often Nummelin bounces off the rev limiter, you’ve gotta know a couple of things about the Swift. First off, the 8,000 or so redline in those cars was well under the real redline, which was a tick over 10,000 rpm. Yes, you read that right, they could spin up to more than ten grand without becoming a grenade! Secondly, the gearing was all wrong in those cars from the factory, which meant on 2-3 shifts, the engine wasn’t yet into its powerband, so you had to spin it for all it was worth to get into the power once you upshifted. I believe at some point, the car we are riding along in had a specially built gearbox (not perfectly legal!) which helped the problem somewhat, although I’m not sure if that was the case for this race.