The Welsh pairing of Rhos-on-Sea's Matt Edwards and co-driver Darren Garrod have clinched the Prestone MSA British Rally Championship title on home soil on Dayinsure Wales Rally GB in their M-Sport Ford Fiesta R5 after a stellar season in Britain’s premier rallying series.

Despite sealing the honours, Pirelli-supported Edwards couldn’t keep up his 100 per-cent win record as a puncture on the penultimate stage slipped him down the order, but a vital top four place finish on the opening round of the weekend gave him enough points to secure his first BRC title. The latest visitor to the top step honour went to Scotsman David Bogie and Irish navigator John Rowan in their Skoda Fabia R5.

The penultimate round of the Prestone MSA British Rally Championship was played out on the Thursday and Friday stages of Dayinsure Wales Rally GB with nine tough and demanding stages providing the first gauntlet for the weekend.

Rhys Yates stole a march on the opening night with a spectacular show on the Visit Conwy Tir Prince spectator stage. However, when the rally shifted to the forests of north Wales on Friday, David Bogie was the man on the move and the Scotsman punched in six fastest BRC stage times to fire him to his first victory of the season in Britain’s top-tier rally series. The DMACK driver mastered the conditions and showed his class as his stage times rustled the feathers of some of the World Championship regulars.

Matt Edwards said: “It’s how the box-set will look with my picture on the front cover! That’s all I’ve been bothered about! It’s amazing. It hasn’t sunk in yet. We had a nightmare over the last two hours and the last two stages. It’s tried its best to undo us but we’ve got there. Huge credit to everybody who’s been behind us over the last three years and obviously Swift Group and Pete Smith have done an amazing job for us getting everybody behind us.

"With Pirelli tyres too, that was a big thing – having the tyres to do the job. I went into today perfectly calm. I knew we had the ability to just drive it through and get it there but I just caught a bank on the Tarmac and it undid a couple of bolts on the back end so it misbehaved for a bit but we strapped it up and got it back here.

"There was never a moment where we didn’t think that we could do it. It’s nice to have the confidence to do the job. Neither of us panicked and we took the decision to stop and change the tyre because we knew we had enough in hand to do it and not jeopardise major damage. We had the presence of mind to do what was needed. I’m overjoyed, as you can imagine. We need two days stress-free and we’re going to go and enjoy ourselves in a fantastic car on fantastic stages and it’s an absolute privilege to be in this position. I’ve no doubt that there are people out there faster and I’ve just got to count my lucky stars that I’m still doing it.

Edwards added: "What Darren (Garrod) has brought is the experience to be able to give me more confidence in what I’m doing and confidence that the notes are good. I can go at every stage, even those I’ve never done before – I just believe they’re right and trust in him and the car. It’s just a massive team effort.”