Edwards feels point is proved after cruel mechanical woe ended victory push
Matt Edwards believes that he proved his pace after leading the morning loop of the DMACK Carlisle Stages in his first event in an R5 car, despite ultimately retiring from the event.
The deal to drive the car in a one-off outing came together thanks to long-time backer Peter Smith and Swift Caravans, tyre firm DMACK and M-sport.
Edwards was leading the event after three stages at service in the Ford Fiesta R5+, but a sticking throttle forced his retirement. He was quickest through the 13-mile SS2 and short Ash Park SS3 despite his inexperience in the car.
“I could have quite happily put it on the trailer after three stages, I proved all I’d wanted to,” explained Edwards. “I don’t want that to sound arrogant. That was more than we could have expected [to be leading], there was no expectations, no pressure, there was no need to do anything silly.”
Edwards has spent 12 years rallying Group N and historic cars, but is happy he’s had the chance to prove himself in top level machinery.
“To feel comfortable at that pace in that car was something I’d always wondered if I could do it. I’ve never been in anything like that. You always wonder if you could do it. I’ve been rallying for 12 years, aiming to something like this.”
Edwards has impressed in the British Rally Championship this season. He steered his Group N-spec Mitsubishi Lancer E9 to seventh on the Mid Wales Stages at the start of the year beating a host of R5s.
“We all knew [that he had the pace to drive the car],” added Smith. “He built his own Evo by himself and stuffed the opposition in the BRC rounds he’s done.”
Edwards will return to his Mitsubishi Lancer E9 in the BRC for the Scottish in two weeks, followed by the Nicky Grist Stages in July.