Matt Edwards produced a fine debut performance on the first round of the Kick Energy Fiesta SportTrophy to take second on the Malcolm Wilson Rally.
The event attracted a 16-strong Fiesta entry bringing hopeful competitors in from all over the country to take part and the first stage was to be Edwards first time driving the car in anger, only having the chance to drive the car briefly the day before to make sure it was mechanically fit for the event.
Edwards and co-driver Andrew Murphy settled into top three pace a handful of seconds behind the leader on the opening stage and as confidence in the cars braking and handling grew on the first three stages, a further two top three times followed.
Next was a run through Greystoke on the way to service in Penrith. Unfortunately due to the poor condition of the stage, the pair picked up a front wheel puncture just a mile into the test. Limping through the stage cost over a minute and dropped from an early third place down to fifth. However, a superb run through the two long Grizedale stages saw the Cadburys team claw back 33 of those lost seconds and climb back up to an impressive tie for second with just one stage remaining – with the position being held to the finish.
''This result means so much to us now,” Edwards said. “After selling the Astra and building this car non stop for the last six weeks to make it happen, this result is justification and reward for the effort. We did the job today and to get second was a big bonus; we only came for fifth.
“There are many good things to think about now, we have been on the pace with no time and the car, and we know there is more to come, so we are really looking forward to the rest of the season.''