Swinglehurst to go Pro in 2022

When Jake Swinglehurst lines up at the 2022 Cobb and Co Hotel St George 399 next month, it will be the start of a new chapter in the Queenslander’s off road career.

Having campaigned previous BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship (AORC) rounds in a SXS Can-Am, Swinglehurst has now made the switch to a Pro Buggy.

The move was always on the cards for Swinglehurst and his brother Tom, who will also replace his SXS for a Jimco in 2022, with the duo’s father having raced in the Pro class back in the 1990s.

Although a move to a more powerful vehicle won’t necessarily guarantee better results for the Swinglehurst, it’s the quality of the car that has Swinglehurst excited for a big year.

The Jimco Buggy that he will be running this year is the ex-Shannon Rentsch buggy that saw the Victorian claim four titles between 2010 and 2019 before selling it to another AORC star in Brett Comiskey.

With a lack of racing taking place since his purchase, Comiskey then went on to resell the car to the Swinglehursts, along with another Jimco, formally owned by Andrew Pinto.

And as the car gets slowly put together ahead of the 2022 season and will no doubt elevate the talented driver towards the top of the field, Swinglehurst remains grounded as to what he will achieve in 2022.

Jake Swinglehurst running his new wheels during the 2021 Dam Buster 250.
(Photos: Terry Hill Photography)

“We had been talking about doing this switch ever since we started. Because our dad did it, we felt it was always going to be a natural progression,” Swinglehurst said.

“Tom and I were having chats to different companies and the wheels were in motion, however the two Jimco buggies then became available and it was a good package deal, so we just couldn’t pass on it.

“It’s going to be really exciting and although Tom will be a bit more delayed in debuting his, I am lucky enough to get a start at St George, which will be great because I think this particular car has good fortune there.

“Of course, I have to go in with a bit of confidence due to the calibre of car beneath me, but I am not putting any expectation on this year as there is still a lot of work to be done and we’re still a bit behind the likes of Josh Howells.

“This year is a complete write-off in terms of a championship push and will serve more as a learning year because our main focus is to just understand the car – we’re stepping from a car with 200 horsepower to one 1000 so it’s a big difference.

“It will be cool when we finish Tom’s car, which should be in the lead up to Pooncarie. It will be a really nice conclusion to a big build and we’re going to have two brothers racing two pro buggies just like our father.”

While Swinglehurst has also run the car briefly during last year’s Dam Buster 250, he debut it at a national level during the Cobb & Co Hotel St George 399 season opener on 18-20 March.