Osian watched his first rally aged three, and he’s been involved in the sport ever since!
Born in Machynlleth, he spent much of his childhood riding motocross and Quad ‘bikes, and got behind the steering wheel of a car for the first time when he was just 10-years old.
He made his rally competition debut in 2009 when, aged just 16, he contested the Rally Kalnamuiza in Latvia in a Renault Clio. It wasn’t long before his natural talent began to shine through, and he scored his first podium, 2nd in class, on Rally Gulbis, shortly after.
Osian contested the Fiesta ST Trophy in 2010 and finished an impressive 8th overall on the Bulldog Rally. The Fiesta is a rally car very dear to his heart – so much so, that he re-bought the very same Fiesta ST and still rallies it for fun.
In 2010 Osian made his World Rally Championship debut – finishing 1st in class (winning by 27 minutes) and 35th overall on Wales Rally GB in a Ford Fiesta ST.
Since that incredible WRC debut, Osian has gained much WRC experience – contesting his home event several times, as well as Rally Spain, Portugal, Poland, Finland and Germany.
He has finished runner-up in the British Rally Championship three times (in 2013 and 2014 driving a Citroën DS3 R3 and in 2021 driving a Polo GTI R5).
Once of his finest achievements to date was winning the 2016 DriveDMACK Fiesta Trophy in a Fiesta R2T – which included victories on Rally Portugal and a start to finish victory on Rally Germany. His prize was two rounds of the WRC2 in a M-Sport Fiesta R5 the following year, and whilst he crashed out of a extremely wet and muddy 2017 Rally Poland, he finished career best 4th WRC2 on the famous Rally Finland.
Osian also led the 2017 British Rally Championship at the halfway mark in a Hills Ford/Alphera FS supported Fiesta R5, until mechanical problems intervened during the second half of the season.
Whilst Osian worked on opportunities to return to a full championship campaign, 2018 saw some incredible performances on selected events in a variety of completely different cars. The year began by him winning the Welsh Rally Championship section and finishing 4th overall on the Cambrian Rally in a development Spencer Sport-run R5-spec Mitsubishi Mirage – and it ended with Osian giving the VR4K Oreca FIA R4-spec car its world competition debut, where he finished 1st in class and 2nd overall on the Rallye Ciudad de Granada (a round of the Spanish Gravel Championship) in an Etios R4 (run by Barcelona-based ASM Motorsport). In between, he contested a number of events in an Escort Mk2 RS2000, winning the Red Kite Rally 2WD and Escort Rally Special Historic in Belgium and finishing 2nd on the Harry Flatters National A Rally. He was also part of S4C’s commentary and presenting team at Wales Rally GB – appearing on the preview show, three live stage broadcasts and five highlights programmes.
He continued to prove his speed and versatility in 2019 – firstly winning the Rali Bae Ceredigion (Wales’ first closed public road stage rally) in a Melvyn Evans Motorsport-run Hyundai i20 R5 and then finishing 1st in class on East African Classic Safari, which took place in Kenya and Tanzania, in a Minti Motorsport-tuned Ford Escort RS1600.
Osian teamed up with Irish co-driver Noel O’Sullivan for the 2020 season and the partnership started well when they finished second on the Cambrian Rally in a Hyundai i20 R5. They were due to continue in the BRC driving a Volkswagen Polo GTI R5, and as a shakedown test Osian (co-driven by Jess Hockly) was invited to take part in the Goodwood Speedweek – finishing second in the rally section. After that all motorsport activities in the UK were suspended owing to the Covid 19 outbreak.
Motorsport resumed in 2021 and Osian tackled his first full British Rally Championship programme since 2017.
It was a hugely successful season, in which Osian and Noel finished on the podium on the first six rounds of the series. They started off with third on the Neil Howard Stages at Oulton Park, with another third coming on the Nicky Grist Stages.
As Osian fine-tuned the car’s set-up to best suit his driving style, the results improved with second on both the Grampian Rally and Trackrod Rally Yorkshire. On his first appearance at the famous Mull Rally, Osian led the BRC section from start to finish to score maximum points and finish second overall. He then played his BRC Joker on the Cambrian Rally, winning the event and taking maximum bonus points as well.
If all scores counted towards the final points tally, Osian would already be British rally champion. However, with only five scores to count, Osian would need to drop two high scores and whilst he arrived at the final round of the series with an eight-point lead all he could do was try and win the rally and hope his rivals didn’t get the result they needed to pip him at the post.
Despite a fantastic drive, in which Osian twice led the Ulster Rally, his grip on the trophy vanished when the Polo GTI R5 got stuck in a muddy field on the final loop of stages. He finished second in the drivers’ standings, while his results over the season helped Melvyn Evans Motorsport become BRC teams’ champions for the first time.
Osian bounced straight back and contested the Roger Albert Clark Rally in a RallyXtreme Ford Escort RS1800 Mk2. Having done the Rallynuts Stages as a pre-event shakedown and won the historic class by 38 seconds, he started as one of the favourites – and having survived some very tricky stages in the Lake District and some wild blizzard conditions in Kielder forest caused by Storm Arwen, Osian was in second place and closing in on the leaders when a sheared front stub axle sent the car spinning into a bank in Walter’s Arena. There was no warning and there was nothing Osian could do about it, but to retire from such a long event so close to the finish was a cruel way to end the 2021 season.
After a winter of hard work to raise a budget, Osian returned to the British Rally Championship in 2022 – and a second season driving the same Melvyn Evans Motorsport-prepared Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 was to prove decisive.
Knowing the car well, Osian started the season with victory on the opening round, the Corbeau Seats Rally Tendring & Clacton.
There was a major setback on the next round when he was excluded from the Jim Clark Rally for driving down a closed road stage on a puncture. He only realised he had a puncture with a mile of SS2 remaining – when stopping on the narrow and fast single-track lane at night wasn’t considered by Osian to be a safe option, and so he drove to the end of the stage at a reduced pace.
Osian launched his championship comeback on the very next event when he celebrated his 100th rally start with victory on the Nicky Grist Stages, before finishing second on the Grampian Forest Rally.
He retook the lead of the BRC when he scored maximum points on Rali Ceredigion (finishing second overall behind Paddon Hayden).
Osian clinched the BRC title for the first time with a dominant run to victory on the Trackrod Rally Yorkshire. He started the event brilliantly, opening up a 5.2 second lead after the opening night’s 11-mile stage through Dalby forest. He then extended his lead to 28.5 seconds after daylight stages through Cropton, Gale Rigg and Staindale before cruising to the title over the final two stages in Langdale and Dalby to win the title with one round remaining.
Having previously finished BRC runner-up three times, Osian joins a prestigious list of British rally champions, which includes Elfyn Evans, Gwyndaf Evans, Dai Llewellin, Colin McRae, Malcolm Wilson, Jimmy McRae, Ari Vatanen, Stig Blomqvist, Hannu Mikkola and Roger Clark.