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Three-time British Rally Champion Matt Edwards will step into the Fuchs Lubricants British Historic Rally Championship in 2022, driving a FIAT 131 Abarth at the forthcoming WKD Trained Dogs Rally North Wales (26 March).

Fresh from a record-breaking hattrick of BRC titles, Edwards and co-driver Hamish Campbell will tackle the second round of the series which takes in world-famous stages in the Dyfi forest complex near to the Dolgellau rally base.

The Conwy driver will swap his title-winning Volkswagen Polo GTi R5 for the classic FIAT, a rare sight in British historic rallying. Despite his undoubted pedigree in modern machinery, Edwards is no stranger to historic rallying and has campaigned the unique machine in the past, with an impressive performance on the Trackrod Rally Yorkshire in 2019 a particular highlight.

His arrival in the British Historic Championship will add a unique flavour to the already star-studded list of entries received so far and Edwards is eager to put himself and the 131 to the test.

“I’ve been involved in the development of the FIAT 131 project almost since inception and the only way to gauge improvement is through putting it into the most competitive environment you can find so there is no doubt BHRC is the place to be” says Edwards.

“We had made good progress with the car pre-Covid and had just lacked that extra bit of time to get all the details in place at the same time. The last couple of years have given time to make more improvements, the results of which felt a big step forward when I drove the car briefly end of last year, so I’m hoping we have closed the gap [to the frontrunners]. Most of it has just been making the car easier to drive.”

But Edwards will be up against a stellar entry that sees over 75 historics tackle the popular forest tests in March. Leading entries include Riponian Stages winner and round one victor Matthew Robinson, runner up Nick Elliott and third placed Roger Chilman. Edwards will also go head-to-head with reigning British Historic Rally champion, Ben Friend.

With some BHRC heavy hitters up front, can Edwards challenge the leaders in Wales?

“That would be nice and it is certainly the plan.”

“It’s been a few years since I have competed in RWD and enjoyed the stages so I’m really looking forward to it. They are some of the best stages in the country so it will be fun to see how it goes and hopefully the hard work of the small team [who built the car] at RSD pays dividends.”

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