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Matt Edwards aims for something really special on his Mull debut – although British Rally Championship points will take priority
Matt Edwards says that it would be “something really special” to go to the Beatson’s Building Supplies Mull Rally (8-10 October) and do well at his first attempt – although his priority will be his target of winning a third straight British Rally Championship title as he heads to the longest and most demanding round of the series in his Yuasa Rally Team Volkswagen Polo GTI R5.
Co-driven by Darren Garrod, Matt arrives in the form of his career, having dominated the recent Trackrod Rally Yorkshire by leading the event from start to finish and winning by a comfortable 32.8 seconds.
The Mull Rally will be Matt’s first closed road asphalt rally in his Yuasa Battery, TPS and Swift Group-backed Polo R5 and his first since the 2019 Ulster Rally – where he took maximum BRC points in a Ford Fiesta R5.
The 37-year-old Colwyn Bay driver tested the Polo R5 at night in Bala recently and was impressed with both its handling and the performance of the Pirelli tyres on cold asphalt.
For his first appearance on the Isle of Mull, which is the second largest island of the Scottish Inner Hebrides, preparation will once again be key to success – and Matt will leave nothing to chance as he gets ready for a crucial round of the BRC.
“I’ve never been to Mull before, so it’s a case of doing my homework, doing a really good recce and trusting the pace notes,” says Matt.
“The majority of the event is run at night and that should work in our favour because we know the pace notes work well in the dark. The Polo R5 is so good to drive and the Pirelli tyres are working really well and combined that gives me so much confidence. Mull will be a really big challenge, but I’m looking forward to it.
“It’s a very long event, the longest rally I’ve done for a while that’s for sure. Whilst it will be hard to maintain a flat-out pace from start to finish, it does give you the mileage to have a bit more of a game plan and to recover from any time loss.
“I’m not going to shy away from the fact that I want to win the rally, but winning the British Rally Championship title is paramount to me and that will be at the forefront of how we approach Mull. The Championship is looking good at the moment. We’ve already dropped a score and we’re still second in the standings, four points behind Osian [Pryce], so we need to keep scoring well to make sure we stay in charge of our own destiny.
“It would be something really special to go to Mull and do well on our first attempt. I’d be happy with a top three finish to be honest, but as regards the BRC there is only one position I want finish in, and that’s taking maximum points.”
Spread over three legs and containing 17 stages totalling 148 stage miles, the Beatson’s Building Supplies Mull Rally is the longest and most challenging round of this year’s British Rally Championship.
Leg 1 on Friday 8 October starts from Tobermory at 19.30 and contains five night time stages totalling 50 miles before the finish at 00.33. The rally re-starts from Garmony at 11.20 on Saturday 9 October, with a further eight stages totalling 51.5 miles all run in daylight, before Leg 2 ends at 16.51. The third and final leg starts from Salen at 21.30 the same night, with a final four stages totalling 46 miles all run in the dark. Leg 3 contains the Calgary Bay/Loch Tuath stage which at 21.89 miles is the longest of the rally. The finish of the event is back in Tobermory at 01.41 on Sunday 10 October.