Personality of the Year 2015: Nominee 5

Six drivers have been shortlisted for the 2015 F1Stockcars.com Stox Personality of the Year award.

One nominee will be announced each day – so make sure you keep checking the site!

How to vote

Once all nominations have been announced, you will be able to vote for your favourite via the F1Stockcars.com website.

Voting will open at 4:00pm on Monday 14 December and will close at midnight on Saturday 19 December. The winner will be announced on Sunday 20 December.

Nominee 5: Mick Sworder

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Love him or hate him, you can’t deny that Mick is a stox personality.

Not many drivers would set fire to their own car in an attempt to entertain the fans, but that’s exactly what Mick Sworder did when celebrating a race win this season! He’s always one to watch on track, known for liberal use of the bumper, and is never short of an opinion in his post-race interviews.

It’s been five years since you moved into F1. How has it been?

It’s gone really well. I’ve had a few ups and downs, but there are ups and downs in whatever form of racing you do. I should have made the switch a lot earlier. I won the F2 World Championship in 2007 and I wish I’d come across the year after but I kept winning championships and I wanted to defend those titles. Eventually I put everything up for sale and sold the whole lot and get enough money together to buy a car from Andy Smith, but I wish I’d done it earlier.

You’ve qualified for the last four F1 World Finals but not finished any of them. Why?

I’m all or nothing, that’s just how I am. It was the same in F2, I think I qualified for ten World Finals and finished two or three. I don’t like coming second or third. Some people race for second and third for the points, but I never have. I want to win every single race. I don’t know what happens in World Finals, sometimes you get the luck and sometimes you don’t, and luck has been eluding me. Whoever wins a championship has done a great job, and I’d like to congratulate all the guys who have managed it this season.

It might come to me one day, but I haven’t got much longer left. If I’m honest, F1s are starting to hurt! We’re trying to change the spec of the cars to give the cars a bit more give to allow us old people to take a few more hits without getting hurt and getting knocked out. I’ve got myself on the committee and I hope we’re going forward in that direction.

But surely you’re just a baby compared to John Lund and Rob Cowley?

I don’t know how they do it! I’ve always had a bad back, ever since Ministox, but in the past two years it has really deteriorated. When you do have a good hit it does hurt, and on a Monday morning when I’ve got to sit and drive a truck all day, I wonder why I do it. But it’s a drug; I race because I can’t stop.

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Mick on track at Birmingham.

You won fifteen races this year and seemed to enjoy the Grand National at the end of the World Final weekend in particular…

We got the car going better and better through the meeting and I was happy that I won in front of a big crowd. I’ve stopped doing doughnuts because it keeps breaking diffs, and I remembered Lee Fairhurst going up against the fence and doing a burnout when he won the British Championship, so I thought I’d do that. During the race a power steering pipe broke and the air going through it was smoking, but not really enough to notice. When I stopped, the exhaust glowed orange and a bit of leaking oil burned off in the exhaust. I don’t really know how it happened and I’ve never seen it before, but the two things ended up setting the whole thing on fire. There was no real damage, but apparently it looked spectacular!

Your son finished the year as a superstar in Ministox, the same month that you were downgraded from superstar to red. Has he been rubbing it in?

We’re very competitive between us, who can win the most races and who can be superstar. I’ve been concentrating on Charlie a bit this year and he’s really come on well, especially in the last six months have been great. I’d love him to have some gold paint on his Mini and we also have a competition between us to see who needs the gold paint first.

Supposing you win next year’s World Final… how are you going to celebrate? Burnout or doughnuts?

Both!

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One of Mick’s many 2015 wins.

Interview with Mick: Scott Reeves
Photos: Colin Casserley and Steve Botham

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