Pavement Pounding Suzuki Swift GT
4B Motorsports Suzuki Swift takes to the track.-Eric Bewley
Pocatello, ID -June 14th witnessed the unveiling of a powerful new-comer to the world of paved circle-track racing. The mini-stock class had long been ruled by mid-seventies Ford Mustangs and Pintos running 2.3 liter four cylinders. It’s time for a change. With it’s four wheel disc brakes, heavy sway bars, light weight chassis, and strong four cylinder, the Suzuki Swift GT is the perfect candidate for upstaging the old guard.
The building of this unique roundy-rounder took about 3 months and resulted in an extremely capable and reliable race car. In it’s first day out the 4B Motorsports / Hawk Strictly Suzuki powered Swift clocked in impressive times only twenty-hundreds off of the lead car. Let’s take a moment to look at some of the steps it took to build this one-of-a-kind racer. One of the first things to do is lighten the load. The class rules state that a car must weigh at least one pound per cubic centimeter of engine displacement. Since we were going to run the 1.3 liter, 1300cc, engine there was plenty of room for shaving weight considering the car weighs 1,800 plus pounds stock. After all the shaving was complete and the car built, it weighed in at 1,480lbs with 5 gallons of race fuel in the tank.
All of the interior was removed and the doors, hood, and roof were skinned of reinforcement. Additionally, all glass except the windshield, the hatch, and the stock gas tank was removed.
Safety in racing is key to longevity. The 4B team spared no expense when building in safety features to this Swift. Along with a Jaz fuel cell, Safety racing seat, removable steering wheel, window netting, fire extinguisher, the 4B Swift has a custom 6-point roll cage.
The normal Swift GT comes with the 13b engine which sports multiport fuel injection and a dual overhead cam engine. Due to class rules which state that the engine must be carbureted, the head had to be changed with a Samurai eight-valve head. Rick at Hawk Strictly Suzuki, who provides the motor muscle for the Rick Roger’s tough truck, stepped forward with a radical 1.3 liter motor designed to put a smile on the driver’s face. The engine sports a custom ground cam, shaved ported and polished head, custom high compression-pistons, the 13b bottom end with forged crank, larger main caps, and retaining girdles. The engine also sports a reworked intake manifold that fits a 32/36 DGAV Weber Carburetor from CALMINI manufacturing.
One of the initial concerns was that the carbureted 1.3 would not be comparable to the MPFI dual overhead engine. These fears were quickly put to rest as the Hawk Strictly Suzuki power plant easily puts out more ponies than the stock fuel injected engine.
The first weekend went quite well but as with every new outing there were definitely some things the team learned. The car handled quite well with the exception of some rubbing on the right side fender lips, the engine pulled extremely hard in the high rpm range as designed but the carburetor needed some jet adjustments, and tire temperature readings suggested that the car needed more camber.
On the very first race the driver, Bud Bewley, spun the car out right in the middle of the track. “I thought it was over as soon as it started” he stated, “luckily, no one center punched me as I stopped broadside in the middle of the track mid-pack. “I was pushing the car hard in the corners to make up time on the Mustangs and it just got loose. We’ll get it figured out.”
The race team learned a lot from the debut at the track. With some subtle suspension changes, a larger carburetor, and some more seat time the crew managed to shave off an impressive thirty hundreds off their time. Qualifying second in a field of thirteen and placing second or third in every heat and main. “We’re closing in fast on these guys and I suspect they’ll be following us before long.” said Bud. “The car is definitely fast and we’ve set it up to run a different groove then the rest of the pack. All we got to do is watch, learn, and drive.”
Do you have a Suzuki vehicle participating in a competitive Motorsport? If so, we’d like to hear your story. Drop us a line and let us know how your Suzuki is conquering the world.