Osian takes another step up the World Rally Championship ladder
Osian takes another step up the World Rally Championship ladder
Welsh rally star Osian Pryce will start a new chapter in his motorsport career next week, when he tackles a Tarmac round of the World Rally Championship for the first time.
A regular winner of asphalt rounds of Britain’s premier rally series, the Machynlleth driver is now looking to carry that speed and skill to the world stage at ADAC Rallye Deutschland, the latest round of the Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy, which starts from Trier on Thursday.
Osian and co-driver Dale Furniss tested a Ford Fiesta R2T identical to the one they will use next week. They completed 50 kilometres in the MH Motorsport-prepared car at a test venue in Wales.
“The test was really useful,” said Osian. “We made a stage which would be quite representative of the roads in Baumholder; we got the car up to fourth-gear, then created a junction to slow us right down and I worked really hard on keeping the car neat and tidy with no corner cutting.
“We worked on the set-up of the car with Mick [Harris, MH Motorsport owner], tweaking the brake bias and things like that. Probably the best thing about the test, though, was what we could do with the tyres. We ran the wet in the dry, to see what we could expect from that and then we did some endurance running on the dry pattern tyre. I’m really happy with what we found, the tyres will suit me really well. Best of all, we came away from the test with a plan for the tyre strategy. We now have a very clear idea of what we’re going to do next week.
“Given that I’ve never been to the event before, the test gave me good confidence. Dale has done Germany a couple of times, so we’ll be relying on him a little bit more this time – but we’ve also had great support from Phil Pugh, who has tasted success on this rally co-driving for Elfyn [Evans]. Phil’s been through the onboards with us and given us a real good insight into what to expect.
The next two rallies – Germany and Spain – represent the final two scoring opportunities in this year’s Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy. It’s a clean sheet of paper, with the driver scoring the most points over the next two rallies taking another two World Rally Championship prize-drives next season.
“That makes the strategy very straightforward for us next week,” said Osian. “We'll be pushing as hard as we can from the very start to try and score some stage wins and bag as many points as we can.
“This might be my first Tarmac round of the world championship, but I’m just as happy driving on asphalt as I am on the loose. I think it came as a bit of a surprise for a few people when we won our first BRC round on Tarmac, but for me, a stage is a stage regardless of the surface.”
Based in Trier, south-west Germany, this city on the side of the Mosel River is reckoned to be among the country’s oldest. The Porta Nigra (Black Gate), which offers a dramatic backdrop to the start and finish ceremonies, dates back to the fourth century when it was part of the Roman Empire.
Next week, it’s Osian’s turn to write his own page in Rhineland history.
Germany’s round of the World Rally Championship provides three distinct challenges: the vineyards, the military area and the countryside stages, with the grip level in each of those changing considerably with the weather. And the weather? Well that can change in an instant, flipping from scorching sunshine and 30-plus degrees to mid-teens and heavy rain.
From the outside, this rally looks innocuous enough. It’s not. It’s a contest to keep you on your toes from the first corner to the last.
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 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 Arena Panzerplatte 1 1.78 miles (2.87km) 1017
SS9 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 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
Regroup Messepark 1100
SS18 Sauertal 2 9.22 miles (14.84km) 1208
Finish Porta Nigra 1500
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
Stage wins: 8
Stages led: 5
Osian and Dale showed the Finns the way home in Finland last time out. Quickest DDFT runners on days one and three, only a Saturday morning shunt spoiled the Welshmen’s dream debut on the world’s fastest rally.
Up and coming…
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…”
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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