Rally driver Matt Edwards marks the start of his partnership with Yuasa with stellar home win

Reigning British Rally Champion Matt Edwards took a sensational victory on home soil as he kick-starts his title defence in the best possible style by winning the Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally. Along with new co-driver Patrick Walsh, the M-Sport driver who enjoys the backing of Swift Go and Yuasa won the opening round of the season in fine style by winning the Llandudno-based event by 26.5 seconds.

Edwards Swift Rally February 2019

The 2019 British Rally Championship got underway at the weekend (16 February) with the spectacular Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally providing the exciting season curtain raiser. New for 2019 was the Service Park, right in the heart of Llandudno town centre – bringing Britain’s premier rallying series closer to the shoppers and café goers in the seaside resort. From the town centre start, the BRC crews ventured into ten legendary Welsh forestry stages, with 60 competitive miles providing the opening round gauntlet.

Defending champion Matt Edwards clinched the 2018 title on Wales Rally GB four months ago and returned to the scene in 2019 looking to clinch his first Cambrian Rally and get his defence up and running. The Welshman wasn’t the quickest out of the blocks on the first stage. That honour went to sparring partner David Bogie. The Scotsman drew first blood and was determined to take the fight to Edwards. However, Edwards was not going to be beaten in his own backyard and on stage two he began his march and took the lead on the Alwen test. The North Wales-based driver took a further seven fastest stage times to eventually return to Llandudno town centre to spray champagne.

Speaking after the event Matt Edwards said: “ This has to be the dream come true, the title was amazing last year, but this has to be the icing on the cake.

I have been watching this event since I can remember and to win it as a BRC round with the top ten out today, I didn’t think it was possible. I put some faith in the car, in the team and the package that we had – I just drove and after the first few stages I thought, this is on, we can do this.

We have been pushed hard for it all day, the event may have only been 58 miles but it felt like 158 miles. It’s amazing to do it in front of a home crowd was dream come true, especially on the stages and the high street I grew up on is something else.”

This is the first weekend that Matt Edwards and M-Sport have raced with the backing of Yuasa, who recently announced that they would be partnering with Swift as one of the leisure vehicle manufacturer’s Value Added Partners.

Swift Rally February 2019

British Rally Championship Driver Standings

Matt Edwards – 25
David Bogie – 18
Marty McCormack – 15
Desi Henry – 12
Josh Moffett – 10
Meirion Evans – 8
Brendan Cumiskey – 6
Thomas Preston – 4
Alex Laffey – 2
James Wilson – 1
British Rally Championship Co-Driver Standings

Patrick Walsh – 25
John Rowan – 18
Barney Mitchell – 15
Liam Moynihan – 12
Keith Moriarty – 10
Jonathan Jackson– 8
Ronan O’Kane – 6
Andrew Roughead – 4
Stuart Loudon – 2
Arthur Kierans – 1

Swift Rally Team win