Matt Edwards

British Rally Championship

Recording breaking British Rally Driver

Matt Edwards has won the British Rally Championship drivers’ title for a record-breaking third time in a row after taking his Yuasa Rally Team Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 to a sensational victory on the Modern Tyres Ulster Rally (Saturday 20 November 2021).

For the last few years, Swift Group and Yuasa has sponsored Matt Edwards, one of the UK’s a leading rally drivers. Matt’s love of rallying started at an early age, born in 1984, he was brought up in North Wales where he continues to live. Matt’s dad was a well-known local rally co driver and of course the family would go along to support him.

Matt’s dad eventually became the clerk of the course for the local Cambrian Rally, the rally in which Matt would first compete in 2004. Without his dad’s knowledge Matt invested his student grant in an Astra MkII and converted it into rally specification. Matt finished but the car suffered a number of problems and eventually placed 92nd, the bug though had bitten!

Keen to develop as a rally driver, Matt entered a few local rallying before deciding to compete in the BTRDA Championship in 2007 with his beloved Astra. To his surprise Matt won the B8 class within the 1400 series and placed second in the overall 1400 series that included many 16 valve cars.

The 2007 success proved a launch pad for Matt and he continued to collect accolades over the coming years. Those early years where especially tough with many rally nights spend under canvas (or in the car), eating frugally, and even doubling up as his own mechanic during rallies when friends or family could not help out.

Matt came to the attention of Swift Group in 2010, when he was in the same Rally as current Swift Group Chairman Peter Smith. Although not competing in the same class, the blistering pace that Matt set in his MG ZR made him the talk of the rally as he took 1st and 2nd place in the first two rounds.

A mechanical breakdown and insufficient funds stopped Matt in his tracks. Unable to repair the car Matt started approached potential sponsors and soon came to the attention of Peter Smith. Peter knew Matt’s co-driver, approached the pair and offered to provide some of the funds if Matt could secure the rest. The funds were eventually secured and so out of adversity a new and rewarding relationship started.

In 2015, whilst co-driving, Matt suffered his biggest crash to date when the car careered off the road and smashed into a tree during the British Trial & Rally Drivers Association (BTRDA)’s Malcolm Wilson Rally: a 45-mile course on classic Lakes Stages. Airlifted to hospital, Matt made a full recovery and after a few months was back in the driver’s seat.

Since 2011 Matt has continued to set the pace and in 2013, he won the RAC Rally championship Series 3 beating legend and at that time reigning Welsh National Rally champion Steve Bannister in the Trackrod Rally.

Like most professional competitors in any sport, Matt’s ultimate aim is to be able to test himself against the best and discover just how far he can develop as a driver.

In 2019 Matt's dream came true when he won the British Championship title and went onto wining again in 2020 and in 2021 making him a record-breaking third time British Champion.

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