Pryce shows his class with convincing Rally North Wales win
31 March 2019
Osian Pryce was in a class of his own on the Rally North Wales National A event, setting fastest time on all eight stages to win his home event by 37 seconds in his RallyXtreme-prepared BDA-engined Ford Escort Mk2.
Seeded at number two, Osian started 48th on the road as the 49-car field ran in reverse order. Co-driven by Dale Furniss, the talented 26-year old Machynlleth-born driver made a fantastic start by setting the fastest time through the opening 8.5 mile Dyfi stage. His nearest rival was Fuchs Lubricants Motorsport UK British Historic Rally Championship expert Nick Elliott/Dave Price in their Ford Escort, and whilst just two seconds separated them on the opening test, Osian was able to increase that by a further five seconds with fastest time on the following 5.42 mile Big Ray stage.
The first time through Cwm Celli was particularly slippery, and a cautious approach still saw Osian set fastest time through the 3.3 mile test, three seconds quicker than Elliott. Completing the morning loop with an unbeaten fastest time through Garth, Osian arrived at the mid-day service halt in Dolgellau with a lead of 17 seconds – although his Escort’s gearbox had to be replaced as the car was stuck in reverse gear as it arrived at the town’s cattle market.
Osian continued his impressive run when the 22.4 mile loop of four stages was repeated in the afternoon, immediately extending his lead by a further 10 seconds on a flying second pass through Dyfi. Fastest again in Big Ray put him a full 30 seconds in front, before equal fastest time with Martin McCormack/Phil Clarke (Ford Escort) on the penultimate stage, and with Elliott/Price on the final stage, gave him a very impressive 37 second victory margin after all eight stages and 44.08 stage miles had been completed.
Osian said: “I’m over the moon to take my second victory on this event! It was just the perfect day to go rallying. Strangely enough, I haven’t done these stages in such dry conditions, but it was an absolute pleasure. We had a clean opening loop, pushed on from the very first stage, and did a time four minutes seven seconds on stage four to beat the bogie time by a second! Crazy in an historic car!
“We found ourselves in the lead at mid-day service, but when parking up for the arrival control I selected reverse gear and it jammed – so had to reverse the car into service! I did get some funny looks, but the boys changed the ‘box and got us going again.
“We kept the same approach for the afternoon loop of stages and it paid off. I got away with a moment two miles from home, but made it to the finish as National A winners – and winners of the David Stokes challenge.
“A big thanks to Grant and Chris at RallyXtreme for the car – three wins out of four events in your cars is becoming a bit of a habit! Thanks Dale for a great job in the co-driver’s seat as usual – and thanks to everyone who has supported me in particular over the last couple of fairly shit months. We’re still working very hard on a number of different rallying projects, and our aim is to be back out in an R5 car soon.”
Osian is supported by G&M Pryce Ltd, Pirelli, Steve Harkness Competition Tyres and Sport Wales.
Rally North Wales National A – top 10 results
- Osian Pryce/Dale Furniss (Ford Escort)….44mins 11secs
- Nick Elliott/Dave Price (Ford Escort)….44mins 48secs
- Joe Price/Chris Brooks (Ford Escort RS)….45mins 12secs
- Stanley Orr/Grahame Henderson (Ford Escort RS1600)….45mins 42secs
- Martin McCormack/Phil Clarke (Ford Escort)….46mins 07secs
- Ben Friend/Cliff Simmons (Ford Escort)….46mins 17secs
- Rob Smith/Alun Cook (Ford Escort RS1800)….46mins 28secs
- Adrian Hetherington/Ronan O’Neill (Ford Escort RS1800)….46mins 28secs
- Hugh Hunter/Rob Fagg (Ford Escort)….46mins 50secs
- Steve Bennett/Osian Owen (Ford Escort)….47mins 03secs