Matt Edwards Dominates at Plains Rally
Wednesday, 16 May 2018 | Ravenol Marketing
Matt Edwards put in another dominant performance at the Plains Rally, based down the road from the RAVENOL office in Welshpool, to claim back to back championship wins. The result lifts Edwards to second in the championship standings behind Dylan Davies, who missed this round.
On the opening test a puncture resulted in a destroyed wheel which left Matt Edwards and Co-driver Darron Garrod in thirteenth place, 28 seconds off the lead with their Championship hopes seeming in tatters. But Edwards fought back and set fastest times on all of the remaining stages. He clawed back the lead by the second stage of the afternoon run and then went on to win by a margin of twenty seconds.
Up until then the lead was held by Luke Francis and Co-Driver John H Roberts, who had stormed through the first test in their Fiesta WRC, but eventually had to settle for second. The remaining podium place was keenly contested between Tom Naughton in his Mitsubishi Evo 10 and Ieu Rowlands in the Volvo powered Ford Escort. Tom Naughton and Co Driver Will Rogers held the upper hand into the midday service, but on the opening afternoon test the pair rolled heavily after the flying finish, stopping the stage. Ieu Rowlands and Co Driver Emyr Hall, who had been in the top four all day, were now third.
Right behind them, Keith Parry and Co Driver Eryl Evans pushed their Subaru through the final test to finish fourth, just one second ahead of the Mk 2 Escort of Nick Elliott and Dave Price. The result lifts Parry into third place in the championship standing on equal points with Matthew Hirst.
Hirst, who had rolled his Mitsubishi Evo 9 out of contention on the previous round, was more than happy with his days’ work and together with Co-Driver Declan Dear, the pair have now built a seven point lead in the RAVENOL Welsh Challenge, which is aimed at drivers who have not previously claimed a top 10 finish. Colin Griffiths lies in second place whilst Max Utting is third.
The next round of the Pirelli MSA Welsh Rally Championship is the Red Kite Stages. The Neath based event, organised by Amman and District Motor Club, takes place on Sunday the 24th of June.