Osian and his Fiesta take on the tank-busters
Osian and his Fiesta take on the tank-busters
Welsh rally star Osian Pryce has completed his final test ahead of this week’s ADAC Rallye Deutschland – Germany’s round of the FIA World Rally Championship.
Osian and co-driver Dale Furniss are contesting the Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy category in their Ford Fiesta R2T. Having set the early-season pace on gravel, the Welshmen are looking to transfer that speed onto asphalt. Dale’s competed in Germany twice before, but for Osian it’s in at the deep end on the banks of the Mosel River.
Based in Trier, the event kicks-off with a spectacular ceremonial start beneath the Porta Nigra, the city’s famous Roman black gate, this evening (Thursday).
Ahead of the start, Osian has completed a two-day recce run through the stages, before a final systems check of the Fiesta at near-competitive speeds this afternoon.
“I’m very happy with how everything has gone, we feel really well prepared,” said Osian. “Some of the stages are quite different to what we’ve got at home, but this year’s partly about gaining experience of the World Rally Championship and competing on as many different types of road as possible.”
This year’s also about winning as many DDFT prize drives as possible. Victory on the opening round of the season in Portugal allied to second place in Poland was enough for Osian to land two WRC2 outings in a factory-prepared Ford Fiesta R5 next season. But Germany and the final round of the year in Spain (October) offer a further two 2017 outings.
“We’ve got to be absolutely on it from the start. The roads through the vineyards are quite tricky in places. There are some unseen corners and a lot of hairpins and you have to be absolutely precise with the car – there’s a wall on one side and a big drop down into the grapes on the other.
“The countryside roads are OK and then there are the stages in the military area: Baumholder. These are a real challenge.”
As well they might… Baumholder is the military range used by the American army to carry out drills and test their tanks.
“There are so many junctions in the Baumholder stages,” said Osian. “The key to pulling time in here is being as neat and tidy as possible. You see drivers like Thierry Neuville, guys who are really strong on these kind of stages, being so, so good on the brakes. You leave it absolutely as late as you dare, off the brakes, turn in, power. Get that right on 96 junctions in 25 miles and you’re on for a good time. That’s what Dale and I are after.
“There are, though, these things called hinkelsteins – these are the massive concrete blocks set at the side of the road to keep the tanks from wandering too far off the track. And if they don’t move when the tanks hit them, they’re going nowhere if we clip one!
“Today’s shakedown was a great loosener for what’s to come. The car felt good, the notes were working. Everything’s set for us to push tomorrow.”
Osian’s five favourite German facts:
The longest word in German is: Donaudampfschifffahrtselektrizitätenhauptbetriebswerkbauunterbeamtengesellschaft. It means, the association for subordinate officials of the head office management of the Danube Steamboat Electrical Services. Annoyingly, in terms of letters, it’s just got the edge of Wales’ favourite place Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.
There are more than 5,000 different kinds of beer brewed in Germany (and more than 300 types of bread).
The world’s oldest savings bank was established right here in Germany, opening for business is 1786 in Oldenburg (and that’s a real place – we didn’t make that up to suit the fact…).
Some of Germany’s motorways famously have no speed limits, so what’s the benchmark? Well, 268mph is the highest speed, but that was with the road closed. A Porsche driver clocked 236mph with the road open to other users.
Germany has the tallest church in the world, with Ulm cathedral measuring 161.53 metres in height.
Friday August 19
Osian’s day starts: 1030
Osian’s day finishes: 2015
Number of stages: 5
Competitive distance: 61.49 miles (98.97km)
Total distance: 207.37 miles (333.72km)
Longest stage: SS2/4 Moselland 14.52 miles (23.38km)
Shortest stage: SS5 Super Special Ollmuth 5.10 miles (8.21km)
Date of birth: 24.02.93
Co-driver: Dale Furniss
First rally: Rally Kurzeme (Latvia) August 2009 – 37thoverall, eighth 2WD
Rally starts: 60
British Rally Championship event wins: 5*
British Rally Championship results: 2nd(2013/14), 3rd(2012)
World Rally Championship starts: 8
World Rally Championship class wins: 2
* Including Osian’s dominant National Rally Cup victory on this year’s Mid Wales Stages
About ADAC Rallye Deutschland
Competitive distance: 190.64 miles (306.80km)
Total distance: 743.49 miles (1,196.49km)
ADAC Rallye Deutschland Itinerary
Thursday August 18
Ceremonial Start podium at Porta Nigra, Trier 2015
Friday August 19
SS1 Mittelmosel 1 13.67 miles (22.0km) 1006
SS2 Moselland 1 14.52 miles (23.38km) 1044
Service Messepark 1237
SS3 Mittelmosel 2 13.67 miles (22.0km) 1458
SS4 Moselland 2 14.52 miles (23.38km) 1536
SS5 Super Special Stage Ollmuth 5.10 miles (8.21km) 1812
Saturday August 20
SS6 Freisen-Westrich 1 9.15 miles (14.73km) 0815
SS7 Bosenberg 1 8.97 miles (14.45km) 0841
SS8 Super Special Stage Arena Panzerplatte 1 1.78 miles (2.87km) 1017
SS9 Super Special Stage Arena Panzerplatte 2 1.78 miles (2.87km) 1028
SS10 Panzerplatte Lang 1 25.35 miles (40.80km) 1046
Service Messepark 1300
SS11 Freisen-Westrich 2 9.15 miles (14.73km) 1528
SS12 Bosenberg 2 8.97 miles (14.45km) 1554
SS13 Super Special Stage Arena Panzerplatte 3 1.78 miles (2.87km) 1730
SS14 Panzerplatte Lang 2 25.35 miles (40.80km) 1748
Service Messepark 2002
Sunday August 21
SS15 Dhrontal 1 9.19 miles (14.79km) 0713
SS16 Sauertal 1 9.22 miles (14.84km) 0842
SS17 Dhrontal 2 9.19 miles (14.79km) 0947
SS18 Sauertal 2 9.22 miles (14.84km) 1208
Service Messepark 1258
ADAC Rallye Deutschland media contact:
+49 89 530997-0
Now say hello to the Ford Fiesta R2T
Engine: 999cc turbo, 12-valve, three cylinders
Max power: 180bhp @ 6,200rpm
Max torque: 250Nm @ 4,000rpm
Transmission: Sadev five-speed sequential gearbox, plated limited-slip differential and uprated driveshafts
Suspension: Adjustable Reiger dampers, Eibach springs
Brakes: 285mm discs four-piston calipers (front gravel); 310mm discs four-piston calipers (front asphalt); 280mm discs two-piston calipers (rear); hydraulic handbrake
Wheels: OZ Racing 6x15-inch (gravel); 6.5x15-inch (asphalt)
Dimensions: length 3982mm; width 1695mm; height 1481mm; wheelbase 2490mm
Osian’s guide to 2016
Osian and Dale will contest five rounds of the World Rally Championship in the Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy. Here’s the details and an Osian download on the big five.
Been and gone…
Osian outings: 2 (2015, retired – mechanical; 2016 1stin DDFT)
Stage wins: 4
Stages led: 1
Osian and Dale took a sensible approach to the first half of the Porto-based opener, but still remained in the top three throughout the event. Moved to the front on the final day and took the win by almost two minutes.
June 30-July 3
Osian outings: 2 (2015, 2ndJunior WRC; 2016 2ndin DDFT)
Stage wins: 8
Stages led: 4
Rarely has second place been celebrated in quite such a fashion. Osian’s result secured him the first major victory of the World Rally Championship season so far. Leading the points race after the first two DDFT rounds, Osian and Dale are now confirmed as factory DMACK drivers for two WRC events in a Ford Fiesta R5 next season.
Osian outings: 1 (2016 6thin DDFT)
Stage wins: 8
Stages led: 5
Leading at the end of the opening day, Osian’s debut on the world’s fastest rally went south when he slipped off the road early on Saturday. Despite that misdemeanor, he and Dale returned for the final day on Sunday and went fastest on every stage. What impressed onlookers most about Osian’s maiden Rally Finland outing was the speed he showed from the start, on an event that’s reckoned to be tougher than any for a rookie.
Osian outings: 0
Osian says: “This is a rally of three parts: the vineyard stages, the military testing ground and the country stages. The vineyards are absolutely full of hairpins, winding their way up and down the Mosel valley; absolute precision on the handbrake is called for here. Baumholder is an area used by the army to test tanks, which means plenty of surface changes from good asphalt to really broken concrete; the big danger here is from hinkelsteins, these are massive lumps of rock at the side of the road used to keep tanks on the straight and narrow. And if they don’t move for tanks, they’re not about to move for our Ford Fiesta R2T!
“Finally, the country roads. We’ll feel a bit more at home here, these are not too dissimilar to what we see in Ireland. And, running through the countryside, these stages are prone to the same kind of cow-related surface changes we see in Ireland…”
Up and coming…
Rally of Spain
Osian outings: 0
Osian says: “Two rallies in one when we get to the final event in Catalunya. The first day is on the gravel, which looks to be fairly similar in places to Portugal, but then it’s a weekend on the asphalt. The Tarmac stages are all really nice and now some of the most famous in the world. Generally, they’re double-width roads which flow quite nicely and allow you to carry good speed.
“Like the four events before Spain, I can’t wait to get there and try them out for myself!”
About the Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy
The brainchild of M-Sport World Rally Team principal Malcolm Wilson and DMACK managing director Dick Cormack, the DDFT takes the best young drivers from around the world and pitches them into a five-round fight for the biggest prize south of the World Rally Championship itself.
There’s a season in a Ford Fiesta R5 car at rallying’s second tier – WRC2 – on offer to the winner after five rounds. The structure of DDFT has changed slightly this season, with rallies being paired (Portugal and Poland; Poland and Finland; Germany and Spain) and the crew gathering the most points from each of those two rallies will win two rallies in the R5 car next season.
Winning a full WRC2 season of 2017 competition in an M-Sport Fiesta R5 will require consistent speed from Osian and Dale this year.
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