“How stunt driver Russ Swift became an M.I.A.S. attraction”
THOSE who frequent the Manila International Auto Show (MIAS) know that British stunt driver Russ Swift has become a renowned show fixture for hurtling Subarus into death-defying driving maneuvers at the back of the World Trade Center in Pasay City.
Worldbex Services International Marketing Director Jon Richmond “JR” Ang said Swift’s name came up from the company’s research and development team as part of the marketing strategy to give MIAS a global taste.
“Russ popped up because he was Guinness World Record holder,” Ang said. “That was also when ‘The Italian Job’ movie remake was very popular and Russ was the one who did the driving stunts.”
Swift has been doing precision driving since 1981, starting out in automotive testing. He also heads Russ Swift Driving Services, which provides precision-driving performances for everything from car launches to motor shows. Aside from his work in shows, TV commercials and movies, Russ has held three Guinness World Records for parallel parking in the tightest space, executing a J-turn in the tightest space and completing 10 donuts in the fastest time.
Long-time love affair
Even after more than a decade of doing MIAS, Swift continues to attract big crowds. Ang said it’s not just Swift’s incredible driving skills that have made him so endearing to those who watch him.
“He’s all about the theatrics, also. He’s a funny person,” Ang said. “And every year, he incorporates some antics in his performances that make the crowd go wild every time.”
He added this fervent welcome has likewise endeared Swift to Filipinos.
“When we asked him why he keeps doing shows in the Philippines, Russ said, ‘Filipinos are a different crowd,’” Ang said. “And that sense of affection and hospitality with his stunts keeps him coming back.”
Filipino stunt drivers at MIAS
In addition to Swift, Ang said the 2016 MIAS will showcase the talents of local racing drivers.
“We are looking forward to inviting the new generation of racers, drifters and stunt drivers to be part of the show because we believe they have developed through the years,” he added. “And we believe that it’s high time for Filipinos to put their name on the map, also.”