Swift Rally Team
British Rally Championship star driver.
International rally winner. Regular podium finisher.
Drives the all-powerful Fiesta R5, very fast.
Pirelli International Rally 2018 – 1st place
British Rally Championship 2017 - 3rd place overall
It’s been a sensational few years for Swift rally driver Matt Edwards.
His truly meteoric rise has taken him from promising outsider to arguably the best driver in the British Rally Championship – the top-flight of the sport in the UK.
And with an incredible start to the 2018 season he shows no signs of slowing down.
Matt built his first ever rally car himself, at home in North Wales, splurging his student grant doing so. He slept in tents or in the car at rallies, and did his own repairs.
He now drives the Swift Fiesta R5, works built by M-Sport – one of the biggest names in global motorsport. At rallies he sleeps in a new Swift Go motorhome, and has his own dedicated team of mechanics.
It’s an incredible journey, full of highs and lows and as a long-time sponsor, we’ve been right beside Matt through it all – from hairpin bends in mud-splattered forests to euphoric achievements and crushing disappointments.
Speedy star is born
Matt first appeared on Swift’s radar in 2010, as the undisputed star of a rally in which Swift chairman Peter Smith was competing. Soon after, Swift stepped in to fund a potentially career-ending repair bill.
Matt continued to get better, eventually winning the British Rally Championship Class 2 after just six events in a car he built, maintained and repaired himself.
Swift had by now seen enough. Matt’s star was rising; his talent obvious. But to compete with the best, he needed a proper car.
British Rally Championship breakthrough
Enter the Swift funded Ford Fiesta R5, a high-performance car equal to one of the world’s most challenging rallying contests.
Matt competed in the British Rally Championship Class 1 for the first time in 2017.
Going up against the giants of UK rallying, Matt was unknown and unproven.
But he exceeded all expectations. Driving with navigator Darren Garrod, Matt finished 3rd overall in a thrilling closing rally on the Isle of Man.
The BRC called it his ‘breakthrough season’.
Matt is competing in
MSA British Rally Championship (BRC) 2018
Overview: The highest level of rallying in the UK for professional drivers – testing ground for World Rally Championship
BTRDA Rally Series 2018
Overview: Clubman and pro drivers go head to head on gravel courses in ultimate amateurs contest
Podium finishes and upcoming rallies
British Rally Championship (BRC) 2018
|Pirelli International Rally||28 April||1st|
|Renties Ypres Rally||22-23 June||TBC|
|John Mulholland Motors Ulster Rally||22-23 June||TBC|
|138.com Rally Isle of Man||13-15 September||TBC|
|Dayinsure Wales Rally GB||4-7 October||TBC|
BTRDA Rally Series 2018
|Rallynuts Stages Rally||14 April||1st|
|Plains Rally||12 May||1st|
|Carlisle Stages||9 June||TBC|
|Nicky Grist Stages||14 July||TBC|
|Woodpecker Rally||1 September||TBC|
|Trackrod Rally||29 September||TBC|
Perfect Pirelli start to 2018
As the engine on his car cooled in the minutes after the 2017 season ended, we asked Matt what he wanted to achieve in 2018.
'To win a rally,” he answered in a heartbeat.
It didn’t take him long. He won the first rally of the BRC 2018 season, claiming 1st at the Pirelli International Rally in April with a 20.5 second advantage.
“This win means everything,” says Matt of the Pirelli result. “It’s the first time I have won a rally with international status.
“I grew up watching my heroes win international rallies – people who went on to become world champions in the WRC.”
Could Matt improve on 2017 and win the British Rally Championship? That’s certainly his aim.
Matt says: “I’m hoping to progress from third overall in the British Championship last year, which was my biggest achievement so far, to becoming British Rally Champion. But there’s a fair bit of driving to do before that.”
Matt steps up to M-Sport
Driving for what’s called a factory team is the biggest accolade in motorsport. And this year Matt has achieved that dream when Swift partnered with M-Sport to develop a new Fiesta R5.
M-Sport is one of the biggest names in global motorsport. Managing director Malcom Wilson is expecting great things.
“Matt impressed a lot of people last year,” he said.
“It’s great to see him behind the wheel of the Ford Fiesta R5 again in 2018. The Fiesta has claimed the British Rally Championship crown for the past two years running – with Elfyn Evans in 2016 and again with Keith Cronin in 2017 – and I see no reason why that shouldn’t be our goal in 2018.”
Motorhomes and Motorsport
Swift has been a fixture on the rallying scene for over 40 years. As well as providing the M-Sport Fiesta R5, Swift also provides a motorhome for the team to stay in during the rally events from our motorhome hire business Swift Go.
Motorhomes are perfect for motorsport, giving competitors somewhere comfortable to stay during events – right there on site without the need to rack up hotel bills.
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 are proud to partner Mission Motorsport, an armed forces’ charity doing amazing work with veterans to help them rebuild their lives through motorsport.