The Swift Experience
2016 season and latest news
RSAC Scottish Rally (25 Jun)
Matt and co-driver Will Rogers took the spoils in BRC2, further extending their championship lead. The duo once again delivered a giant-killing performance finishing 11th overall and seventh in BRC putting a number of more powerful R5 machinery behind them in the process.
Pirelli Carlisle Rally (1 May)
Matt realised a boyhood dream on the Saturday, as he competed on the DMack Carlisle Stages in a works-prepared Ford Fiesta R5 Evolution rally car. Experienced rally legend John Millington joined Edwards in the M-Sport prepared car for the BTRDA Rally Championship round.
Matt once again performed a giant killing act mixing it in the top 10. A puncture on the first day, however, prevented him from claiming another outright top 10 but underrated the British driver flung his car through the forests to end the event 15th overall and first in class.
Circuit of Ireland (9 April)
Despite fuel pump issues before the start, Matt and his team managed to fix the Mitsubishi Evo 9, and restarted the event to score valuable points towards his title challenge.
Mid Wales Stages (8 Mar)
Matt dominated the BRC2 category and also performed a giant killing act by finishing seventh overall with several more fancied BRC1 cars behind him.
Matt is 2016 BRC class 2 champion, driving a Mitsubishi Evo 9, which is not too far from a showroom-production model.
For the last few years, Swift Group 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. A British Championship title is one dream that he hopes will one day become a reality.
David Hurst and his wife, Debs, their two young boys, Daniel (6) and Darley (4), and the family pet, Mr Colin dog, are currently exploring the world in their Swift Escape 696 motorhome.
In 2014 The Swift Group teamed up with extreme sportsman Neil Greentree, owner and boss of UK windsurf Race and Demo team Team QSW. Neil has always been very outdoor minded and his passion for exploration and adventure continues to this day.
Swift Group are pleased to announce their continued support of Team WIGGINS in 2016. The team, founded by Sir Bradley Wiggins, will continue to race under a UCI Continental licence for 2016, and will race both at home and abroad.