Edwards Takes Rally Championship Title At Ulster Rally

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History was made on last Saturday’s Modern Tyres Ulster Rally by Matt Edwards as he became the first person to win the Motorsport UK British Rally Championship title three years running.

Edwards arrived in Newry knowing only maximum points from the seventh and final round of the BRC would guarantee him another drivers’ crown – and that is exactly what he delivered.

“To win three British rally titles in a row is very special, but what makes it even more special for me is that it’s been in the making for two years,” explained the Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 driver.

“We have had the pace all year. A few things haven’t gone as planned, but we always believed winning the title would happen. Everyone knows just how much the British Rally Championship means to me and I am very proud to have won the title three times in a row,” added Edwards.

Osian Pryce was the only person who could deny Edwards but his dream of securing a maiden BRC title after coming runner-up on two previous attempts ended on the penultimate stage. He lost control of his Volkswagen on the greasy country roads and ended up in a field. Thankfully, both he and co-driver Noel O’Sullivan were able to walk away from the accident unharmed.

“It is difficult to accept that one small moment has undone everyone’s hard work and effort,” said an understandably crestfallen Pryce. “Of all the heart-stopping moments we managed to get away with in the tricky conditions, it had to be the little innocent one that caught us out.”

Northern Ireland champions Jonathan Greer and Kirsty Riddick were the main beneficiaries of Pryce and O’Sullivan’s demise as they moved up to second in their Citroen Racing C3 R5, 15.2 seconds clear of Callum Devine and Brian Hoy who battled back from an initial engine misfire, ride and set-up issues, and a trip into a field on stage two in their Ford Fiesta Rally2 supermini.

Josh Moffett had a solid run to fourth overall, with Keith Cronin and Sam Moffett overcoming an engine glitch and overheating brakes respectively to finish the event in fifth and sixth place.

Creighton lands World Rally Championship drive

The Junior British Rally Championship was also settled on the Ulster Rally. Twice a runner-up, it all came good for Moira’s William Creighton whose reward is a fully-funded drive on a round of the World Rally Championship next season.

Eamonn Kelly chalked up a second Junior BRC win of the year in Newry – but it still wasn’t enough to deny Creighton the highly lucrative prize. British Academy Trophy champion Johnnie Mulholland lay claim to the last step on the JBRC podium.

 

 

“I’m delighted with the result and to finally get the JBRC title means so much,” said 24-year-old Creighton. “We made it quite hard for ourselves this season after not finishing the Nicky Grist, so we knew we had to score maximum points on every other round. I’m just so happy to get this result. I didn’t even want to think about the World Rally Championship prize to be honest; for now, I just want to enjoy this moment because it’s been a long time coming for me,” he added.

“An amazing day of competition”

Summing up the 2021 Modern Tyres Ulster Rally, Event Director Richard Swanston paid tribute to all those who made it possible. “I’m so proud of the team who put this event together and created such an amazing day of competition. The tough stages delivered thrills and spills but, ultimately, produced a worthy winner,” he said. “Thanks to all the volunteers who came out to make the event a success, and thanks also to all our sponsors who supported the event.”

Stephen Shaw, from title sponsor Modern Tyres, added: “Full credit to Richard and his team for organising and running a fantastic event. We are delighted with the coverage and it is great to get so much positive feedback on our new Newry facility. Congratulations to all crews and in particular Matt Edwards and William Creighton on winning their respective British Rally Championships titles. Thanks to everyone involved in making it such as success.”

For a full list of results and class winners, please visit www.ulsterrally.com

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About Author

Graham is a photojournalist and motoring writer with over 20 varied years of coverage from manufacturer press launches to international motorsport and motoring events throughout the world. Graham is a full member of the Guild of Motoring Writers and Ulster Motor Writers Association.

RMS Forum Comments

Dave...... replied at 12:55, Sat 20 Nov, 2021
Video not available @Cooper
RoniN replied at 13:06, Sat 20 Nov, 2021
tMFo53PKL_Y Cheers
steeldevil replied at 14:20, Sat 20 Nov, 2021
Was at the regroup in Banbridge for a short while, enjoying the coverage online
Burt2000 replied at 18:43, Sat 20 Nov, 2021
Just home from it. We haven’t been to a rally in years and so took the wee man to his first. We Got to a decent spot on stage 8 and had them coming past mostly flat and getting a bit of air. Good to see the mk2’s in action. Best sounding car of the day was the e30 m3, closely followed by the mk2 millington cars.
AidanMcG replied at 20:24, Sat 20 Nov, 2021
It was good to be back out on the stages after a two year gap (I think Ulster 2019 was the last I spectated) and was on SS5, SS8 & SS9. Flyin Finn was at the same junction as us for both SS8/9. On a separate note (not sure if this is even the best place to ask but does no harm), does anyone know what would be the best way to get into marshalling? I should hopefully have quieter weekends from next year to be able to do it.
KevM replied at 20:30, Sat 20 Nov, 2021
When @swansty gets this year cleared up, I'm sure he could advise
seven rod replied at 20:40, Sat 20 Nov, 2021
| On a separate note (not sure if this is even the best place to ask but does no harm), does anyone know what would be the best way to get into marshalling? I should hopefully have quieter weekends from next year to be able to do it.
Sometimes local clubs will post on Facebook requesting marshalls. I used to marshall years ago, and always found out where to be and when from members of the club.
RoniN replied at 20:42, Sat 20 Nov, 2021
| On a separate note (not sure if this is even the best place to ask but does no harm), does anyone know what would be the best way to get into marshalling? I should hopefully have quieter weekends from next year to be able to do it.
http://www.ulsterrally.com/marshals/ Hope this helps? Cheers
NIXR2 replied at 22:09, Sat 20 Nov, 2021
I took my wee lad out to a couple of stages this afternoon. So good to get back to spectating again at a decent rally!!
steeldevil replied at 14:49, Sun 21 Nov, 2021
Great to see it back again and it looked to be a good contest right up to stage 8. Live coverage was a great idea, can't help feel it would have been better with a couple of drones given the relatively close proximity of stages?