Osian: my toughest day yet
Osian: my toughest day yet
Just when he least expected it, former president Bill Clinton has come up with some words for Welsh rally star Osian Pryce after his tough Rally of Portugal day today.
“It is,” Clinton says, “how you handle adversity, not how it affects you. The main thing is, never quit, never quit, never quit.”
Have no fear, Bill, Osian’s not for quitting.
Today would, however, have broken lesser men than Osian and his co-driver Dale Furniss. It’s been a shocker. Actually, it’s been way worse than that.
The success of Thursday night and Friday morning faded into a distant memory when the THORUtilities and G&M Pryce-backed Citroën was hit by problem after problem on today’s six stages to the east of the event’s host town of Matosinhos.
The morning was about brake problems, the afternoon a puncture and broken auxiliary belt, which sent the engine temperature sky-high and forced the pair into an early bath.
The silver-lining to this cloudiest of cloudy days was second fastest on the penultimate stage.
Probably best let Osian tell you the rest.
“I’m not sure I know where to start,” he said. “But one thing is for sure, neither Dale or I have ever had such a tough day in the sport. It’s been unreal.
“Five miles before the finish of the first stage, the brake pipe burst when we were braking from fifth gear for a second-gear corner, that was… interesting. We drove the rest of that stage with no brakes. The next stage was cancelled, but we’d fitted a new pipe and bled the brakes and we were ready for the third one. Not far in the brakes failed again and we had to do 20 miles with just the handbrake to slow us down.
“We came back to service, got everything fixed and went out for another go in the afternoon. And promptly got a puncture!
“When we got to the end of the middle stage in the afternoon, I actually apologised to Dale for driving so slowly. It felt terrible, just so slow. And we were a couple of seconds off the fastest time! That’s definitely the thing I’ve learned from this event, the art of driving slowly to go quickly.
“I was ready to practice a bit more of that in the long one when we got an engine temperature warning light – a stone had got in and snapped the auxiliary belt. I switched the engine off straight away. Our day was done.
“I think Dale and I have spent more time under the car than we have in it today. None of this is anybody’s fault, it’s all just small things. The belt which ended our day costs £15 – but we’re out because it broke. You can’t prepare for days like this; you can’t blame people for days like this, it’s pure and simple bad luck, nothing more.
“We’ll give it another go tomorrow.”
We started with politics, how about we end with lyrics? They come courtesy of Destiny’s Child and Queen.
Osian’s a survivor and the show must go on tomorrow.
Today in numbers: What went wrong, when…
SS8: 8thfastest brake pipe bursts five miles from the finish
SS9: stage cancelled
SS10: 9thfastest brakes failed, drove 21 miles with just the handbrake
SS11: 10thfastest stopped to change a puncture
SS12: 2ndfastest drove slowly…
SS13: retired with broken auxiliary belt
Tomorrow in detail
Start: Matosinhos 0630
One stage run twice, one single pass
Finish: Matosinhos 1315
Longest stage: Vieira do Minho (32.35km/20.10miles)
Competition day three distance: 54.65km/33.95miles
Total day one distance: 340.64km/211.67miles
There’s a 20-miler through Vieira do Minho mid-morning, but it’s the stage that sandwiches that one that really fires the imagination: Fafe. It’s the hero-maker, the stuff of legends and Osian and Dale’s chance to hit that jump and take the same flight path as Markku’s Lancia 037 or a Stig-piloted Quattro.
The Citroën DS 3 R3-Max Osian’s ride this week in detail
Engine: EP6 CDT 1598cc turbo, direct injection developing 234bhp and 430Nm at 3000rpm.
Bodyshell: Reinforced body with welded, multi-point roll cage.
Transmission: Front-wheel drive with six-speed sequential gearbox, activated from steering wheel-mounted paddle. Differential is self-locking ZF.
Suspension: front MacPherson struts with BOS three-way adjustable dampers.Numbers: Bore and stroke 77 x 85.8mm width 1715mm length 3948mm wheelbase 2465mm fuel tank capacity 67 litres weight 1230kg.Brakes: Alcon forged 4-piston front calipers, 2-piston rears. Vented discs 330 x 34mm (front) 300 x 8mm (rear). Hydraulic handbrake.Wheels: 6 x 15-inch.
About the Junior WRC
Won by such rallying greats as Sebastien Loeb and Sebastien Ogier, the Junior WRC title remains the most sought after drivers’ title outside of the World Rally Championship itself.
The series is open to drivers under the age of 28 and is fought out over some of the world’s most demanding rallies. The diversity of events Osian will contest this year is incredible: he’ll go from flying 50 metres at a time through the forests of Jyvaskyla on what’s known as the Finnish Grand Prix (Rally Finland) to the agonisingly slow Rally of 10,000 Corners (Tour de Corse).
Crews score on six of seven rounds of the Junior WRC. Osian and Dale missed the opening round of the season on Monte Carlo and will, therefore count all six from the calendar listed below.
All Junior WRC crews will drive the identical Citroen DS 3 R3-Max, the latest evolution of Citroen Racing’s super-successful 1600cc turbocharged, front-wheel drive rally car. And all the crews will run identical Michelin tyres on all six rallies.
Osian and Dale will also compete for the WRC 3 title, which is the FIA’s support series for category R3 cars.
About Osian Pryce
Date of birth: 24.02.93
Co-driver: Dale Furniss
First rally: Rally Kurzeme (Latvia) August 2009 – 37thoverall, eighth 2WD
British Rally Championship event wins: 4
British Rally Championship results: 2nd(2013/14), 3rd(2012)
World Rally Championship starts: 3
World Rally Championship class wins: 1
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About Vodafone Rally of Portugal
Date: May 21-24
Base: Matosinhos, Porto
Competitive distance: 218 miles (352 kilometres)
Total distance: 950 miles (1529 kilometres)
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