PRESS RELEASE: 10 July 21
Edwards takes BRC glory at the Grist
- Matt Edwards and Darren Garrod secure
British Rally Championship victory at the Nicky Grist
- The Welshman now leads Britain’s premier rallying
- Edwards gives Volkswagen its first BRC win since 2000,
ending a 21 drought for the marque
- Ruairi Bell lands his maiden Junior BRC victory
- Matt Edwards got his third Motorsport UK British Rally
Championship title chase back on track last weekend (10
July), taking a hard-fought win at the second round of
the series, the Nicky Grist Stages.
and co-driver Darren Garrod took their Pirelli-shod Volkswagen
Polo GTi to a five-second victory over fellow Welshman
Tom Cave after a thrilling eight-stage battle. Cave, guided
by Dale Furniss, adapted quickly to their new Ford Fiesta
Rally2 to finish seven seconds ahead of Osian Pryce and
Noel O’ Sullivan in their Michelin rubbered Volkswagen
World-class stages greeted a stellar BRC
entry for the Welsh gravel encounter, and the Epynt Military
ranges provided the ultimate battle for supremacy on the
first gravel round of the season. Despite stopping the
clocks of the opening stage down in fourth spot, two-time
British champion Edwards wasted no time in stamping his
authority on the top of the timesheets, recording five
fastest stage times during the remainder of the day.
Osian Pryce and Tom Cave would also enjoy
a spell at the top of the leaderboard but it was Edwards
who would take the initiative in Crychan to emerge ahead
of the chasing pack heading into the mid-point service
halt. But despite a late charge from Pryce on the final
test, Edwards was never going to be overhauled, as he
secured his first victory of the season and the first
for the Volkswagen Polo Gti in the British Rally Championship
– ending a 21-year drought for the German marque.
Edwards now heads the BRC standings after fourth place
at the season opener.
“This is just fantastic, it’s
hard to find the words,” said Edwards.
“It just means the world at the moment.
There is so much going on behind the scenes and it’s
such a relief as much as anything to have the pace in
a different car and different team. It was close all day
really, and we had no tyres left, to be honest. We tried
to save them through Halfway and then front-to-back them,
but it was such hard work in there.”
“We had a few issues to overcome with
the car, but it’s been an awesome job by the team.
I have to say a huge thank you to Yuasa and Swift Group
for sticking by me in the last eighteen months whilst
everything gets going, and this is a perfect reward for
everybody’s hard work”.
Rhys Yates/James Morgan were the leading
M-Sport crew home in fourth. Having set the third fastest
time on the opener, Yates’ Fiesta Rally2 could never
quite live with the leaders as a warning light issue hampered
Making a welcome return to the BRC, M-Sport’s
Matthew Wilson contested his first championship round
since 2016 and with Stuart Loudon in the co-drivers seat,
enjoyed a solid run to fifth in a Fiesta Rally2.
Adding to a star-studded entry list, four-time BRC champion
Keith Cronin made a strong start to his latest campaign
in sixth driving his Hankook-backed Fiesta Rally2. Cronin
and co-driver Mikie Galvin built their pace gradually
throughout the day to bag a confidence-boosting run on
Cronin’s first event behind the wheel since 2018.
The Moffett brothers enjoyed a close-cut
battle for seventh, with Josh taking the family rivalry
honours as he and co-driver Andy Hayes grabbed seventh
in their Hyundai i20. Winning the opening round at Oulton
Park, Sam Moffett and Keith Moriarty secured eighth in
their Fiesta Rally2.
The National Rally Title fight was dominated
by Elliot Payne and Cameron Fair in their Ford Fiesta.
With scintillating stage times throughout the day, their
pace would be good enough for sixth overall in the BRC
top-flight and the category win by 23 seconds from second-placed
Stephen Petch and Michael Wilkinson in their Fiesta WRC.
Garry Pearson/Niall Burns manhandled their Mitsubishi
Evo IX to third and the final podium spot.
With the competition as close as ever, the
Junior BRC contingent were eager to maintain their opening
round momentum, however round one winners William Creighton
and Liam Regan couldn’t quite make it two from two.
Battling with fellow Ford Fiesta Rally4 crew Ruairi Bell/Gareth
Parry, Creighton ended his rally in the Welsh shrubbery,
allowing Bell to storm to his maiden Junior BRC victory.
Finlay Retson/Rhys Stoneman enjoyed their first podium
of the season to take second, with Kyle White/Sean Topping
taking yet another sensational result in their Peugeot
208 to round out the podium spots.
Continuing in the forests, round three will
see the British Rally Championship head to Scotland for
the Grampian Forest Rally near Aberdeen in August.
Motorsport UK British Rally Championship
Points – Overall After Round 2
1st Matt Edwards 37
2nd Rhys Yates 34
3rd Sam Moffett 31
4th Osian Pryce 30
5th Tom Cave 18
6th Josh Moffett 14
=7th Matthew Wilson 10
=7th Seb Perez 10
=7th D.Henry 10
10th Mellors 4