Edwards wins the opening round of BRC at Cambrian Rally

by Pontus Lindroos

Welshman Matt Edwards took overall victory at the Cambrian Rally this weekend, the opening round of the 2020 British Rally Championship.

Edwards who is two-time British Rally Champion repeated the success from last year, driving in a new M-Sport built Ford Fiesta R5 MKII; he and co-driver Darren Garrod stormed to victory with 38.4 seconds over Osian Pryce who finished in second place with Rhys Yates in third.

Edwards won five out of seven stages, including the tarmac stage of Great Orme, his only mistake was stalling his car on the start of the opening stage. He and Garrod received a warm welcome on the ceremony at Llandudno after winning the rally, a special moment for Garrod as it is his first victory in his career at Cambrian Rally.

Pryce who finished second in the rally after making a comeback to the championship after a two-year break. He and fellow Irish co-driver Noel O’Sullivan were entered in a Hyundai i20 R5. The duo held on to second place for most of the rally except the Gwydir 1 where he dropped down to fourth place.

M-Sport WRC2 driver Yates returned to the championship this year as along with co-driver James Morgan rounded out the rally in third place, a great start to the championship for him.

Photo Credit: M-Sport Ford

“You spend all Christmas waiting for the new season, and once you get into it, it’s like an out of body experience. Massive credit to M-Sport who have worked so hard to get the car right for this event, it felt so comfortable and felt so right.” Edwards commented.

“It’s great to have Darren back and the support has been brilliant all through the route with people waving and cheering me on. It was a great rally and the stages are just something else to drive and when it is all hooked-up, it is such an amazing feeling, it’s a perfect start to the season.”

Proton returned to the championship this year with two Iriz R5 cars at the season-opener, Ollie Mellors drove his Iriz to a fourth-place finish and teammate James Williams who stepped-up to four-wheel-drive this season after a successful year in the Junior class made his debut in the car and finished fifth.

In the all-new single-make championship for 2020, Junior BRC saw William Creighton storm to a class victory in his new M-Sport Poland built Ford Fiesta R2T. Despite having a poor start to the rally he retained the control at the Penmachno stage where he won and then followed up with two more stage wins at Gwydir 2 and Elsi.

Photo Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography

Finlay Retson ended up in second place behind Creighton, he held on to the position for the whole rally and won two of the stages, Great Orme and Crafnant 2. A strong start for Retson after poor results from last year.

Irishman David Kelly finished in third place, taking the last step on the podium. He had a poor start but climbed from fourth place during the last stage of Elsi.

BRC

  1. Matt Edwards/Darren Garrod – Ford Fiesta R5 MKII
  2. Osian Pryce/Noel O’Sullivan – Hyundai i20 R5
  3. Rhys Yates/James Morgan – Ford Fiesta R5 MKII

Junior BRC

  1. William Creighton/Liam Regan – Ford Fiesta R2T19
  2. Finlay Retson/Rhys Stoneman – Ford Fiesta R2T19
  3. David Kelly/Darragh Kelly – Ford Fiesta R2T19

BTRDA Gold Star

  1. Stephen Petch/Michael Wilkinson – Ford Focus WRC
  2. Ian Bainbridge/Dale Bowen – Škoda Fabia R5
  3. Martyn England/Dawn England – Ford Fiesta R5

BTRDA Silver Star

  1. Andy Davison/Tom Murphy – Talbot Sunbeam
  2. Perry Gardener/Andrew Sankey – Ford Fiesta R2
  3. David Gathercole/Martyn Donn – Ford Escort RS 1600

BTRDA Historic

  1. David Gathercole/Martyn Donn – Ford Escort RS 1600
  2. Tom Coughtrie/Ian Fraser – Mitsubishi Galant VR-4
  3. Steve Ward/Michael Crawford – Ford Escort RS 1800

BTRDA Rallye R2 Cup

  1. Perry Gardener/Andrew Sankey – Ford Fiesta R2
  2. Robert Wilson/Martin Haggett – Ford Fiesta R2
  3. Lee Jones Jonathan/Lewis Griffiths – Ford Fiesta R2T

BTRDA Rallye R5 Cup

  1. Ian Bainbridge/Dale Bowen – Škoda Fabia R5
  2. Martyn England/Dawn England – Ford Fiesta R5
  3. Karl Simmons/Mark Glennester – Škoda Fabia R5

BTRDA Production Cup

  1. Patrick Naylor/Ian Lawrence – Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX
  2. Scott Faulkner/Stephen Link – Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX

BTRDA Rally First

  1. Andrew Weathley/Oliver Weathley – Ford Puma
  2. Jonathan Jones/Jez Rogers – Ford Fiesta R1

BTRDA 1400

  1. Chris Powell/Jim Lewis – Talbot Sunbeam
  2. Hefin Lloyd-Davis/Rich Jones – Vauxhall Corsa
  3. Dominic Hodge/Stefan Ardnt – Nissan Micra K11

BRC National B Cup

  1. Alan Carmichael/Claire Williams – Ford Fiesta R5

Welsh Forest

  1. Ian Bainbridge/Dale Bowen – Škoda Fabia R5
  2. Martyn England/Dawn England – Ford Fiesta R5
  3. George Lepley/Tom Woodburn – Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X

ANWCC Forest

  1. Lloyd Roberts David/Emyr Hall – Ford Escort RS 2000
  2. Lee Jones Jonathan/Lewis Griffiths – Ford Fiesta R2T

IPS Rally Challenge

  1. Martyn Andrews/Steve Greenhill – Subaru Impreza
  2. Shane McGirr/Denver Rafferthy – Toyota Starlet
  3. Frazer Martin/Ian Jones – Mitsubishi Lancer VI
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