Prestone MSA British Rally Championship frontrunner Matt Edwards will drive an M-Sport prepared Ford Fiesta R5 on Dayinsure Wales Rally GB next month in the WRC2 class.
Edwards, who finished third in the BRC this season, will drive in Wales alongside co-driver Patrick Walsh in a fully works-backed Fiesta R5.
After being chosen by M-Sport to score manufacturer points at the BRC season finale on the Rally Isle of Man last month, Edwards walked away with a pair of second place finishes over the three day event and was able to take vital championship points away from Fredrik Ahlin and therefore help M-Sport factory driver Keith Cronin claim a fourth BRC title.
The Welshman told Motorsport News on his deal to drive for M-Sport: “It doesn’t seem real, you’ve dreamt about it since you started watching rallying and then, all of a sudden, I’m going to do it now.”
“The biggest thing it can do for me is give me some much-needed gravel mileage ahead of next year’s BRC. Three days in the car that you can really build on. I’ll approach it in the same way as the BRC, we’ll try and get faster as the event goes on and try and put some strong times in by the end.”
While M-Sport client liaison manager Rich Millener added: “Matt has done really well this year and he’s made us aware of what he’s capable of,” he said. “It’s great for us, we’ve wanted to see where his pace is at and WRC2 will be a real challenge.”
“Obviously we’ve known him for a long time – he used to work here – now he’s driving for us and that’s great for him, he’s put a lot of effort in and gone through the whole ladder of opportunity. He’s driven Ford cars for most of his career. That keeps him on the radar.”
Edwards looks set to in 2018 continue with his privately ran-Swift Group Fiesta R5, but Millener was also quoted of saying that his Rally GB opportunity could help change plans for next season.
“Malcolm (Wilson) is in contact with Matt and is aware of what he’s achieved.” said Millener. “It’s too early to say what we’ll be doing next year (in relation to BRC), but this will be a good opportunity to get him into the team with a view to looking at 2018.”
Dayinsure Wales Rally GB takes place between October 26-29.