A stunt driver from North Yorkshire has said he is “absolutely delighted” to claim his fourth Guinness World Record after he drove a pickup truck balancing on two wheels through a gap with less than a metre of clearance.
Paul Swift, 44, from Northallerton, achieved a Guinness World Record (GWR) for the tightest gap driven through by a pickup truck on two wheels.
He drove a Ford Raptor between two poles with an average clearance either side of just 44cm at Dunton Technical Centre, Ford’s track and research facility in Essex.
The record is measured by subtracting the height of the truck being driven on two wheels (6ft 2.2in) from the size of the gap through which it is being driven (9ft 0.8in).
“We weren’t sure whether the vehicle was capable of doing it… we had people there ready with laptops to make any modifications,” Mr Swift said.
“But we just drove an absolutely standard Raptor on two wheels – I was absolutely delighted with that, straight out of the box we could do something cool with it.
“Most people tend to bend over backwards to achieve a record title, but I tilt my pickup sideways.”
Windy conditions meant Mr Swift needed several attempts to complete the challenge, but he now holds four GWR titles, including the tightest parallel park by electric car, the fastest time to perform five car stunts and the most doughnuts, or spins, around a motorcycle performing a wheelie in one minute.
His newest record is one of a collection of feats achieved for the 19th annual GWR Day, which takes place on 16 November this year.
Other records achieved in celebration of the 2023 event include the highest backflip pogo stick jump (USA – 3.07 metres), the most consecutive single leg full twist back somersaults (China – 11) and the most consecutive Double Dutch-style handstand skips in a team of two (Japan – 32).
“I had a great team around me to prepare for the record,” Mr Swift continued.
“As a four-by-four, it has quite a lot of suspension travel, so trying to keep it nice and stable while it went through the gap was my biggest challenge, but I am delighted that we did it.”
Mr Swift said he first attempted to drive on two wheels when he was just seven years old when the family lived on a farm in County Durham.
“I wanted to be part of my father’s team and the only vehicle I could drive at the time was the lawnmower. So, I started doing stunts on that,” he said.
Mr Swift’s father, Russ Swift, is a well-known driver himself, and holds three driving-related GWR titles.
“It took me a long time to get involved with GWR because my dad had a GWR, I didn’t really want to compete against my dad,” said Mr Swift.
“But most recently, GWR created some new records with electric vehicles and last year I completed the new record for the fastest time for the tightest parallel park in an electric car, which is not comparable to his record.”
Craig Glenday, editor-in-chief at Guinness World Records, said: “The theme for GWR Day is super skills, and Paul is a perfect example of how you can turn your passion into a record-breaking success.”