Welshman Osian chases DDFT world title in Spain
Welshman Osian chases DDFT world title in Spain
Osian Pryce will aim to re-write rallying history next week, by becoming the first British driver ever to lift the coveted Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy (DDFT) title in the World Rally Championship.
For aspiring junior drivers, the DDFT remains the most valuable prize on offer in the world championship with seven rounds of the 2017 series up for grabs in a state-of-the-art, turbo-charged, four-wheel drive Ford Fiesta R5.
Welshman Osian and his co-driver Dale Furniss have already landed two of those drives next season and they go to next week’s RallyRACC Catalunya-Costa Daurada (Rally of Spain) leading the championship and looking to land a further three prize drives.
Osian said: “The way the championship is organised has changed for this year. In previous seasons the winner of the title took all seven drives, but this time the organisers have paired some of the rallies to spread the prize around. We took most points from Portugal and Poland, so we won the first one. Unfortunately, a small mistake in Finland cost me some points, but we were winning again last time out in Germany and that’s given me this great opportunity next week.”
A third DDFT win from five starts would be enough for Osian to be crowned champion, which would be comfortably the biggest moment of his career.
“This would definitely be the biggest win in my career,” said Osian, “this opportunity is just massive and something I’ve been working towards for such a long time.”
Next week’s Salou-based rally comes with the added complication of a mix of asphalt and gravel surfaces. Up until now the previous DDFT rounds have run solely on one or the other. That doesn’t worry Osian and Dale – they’ve won on gravel (Portugal) and asphalt (Germany) this season.
“I’m looking forward to driving the two surfaces,” said Osian, “it’s like getting two rallies in one. All I can do is go there and give it my best shot. Dale and I have prepared as well as we possibly could: we’ve done exactly the same as we have for the other rallies. Basically, if we go well on the rally and score well on the rally then the championship will follow. At the moment, the momentum’s with us – all we’ve got to do is keep it there!”
Osian takes a 14-point lead into the final round. Victory in Spain would mean him taking two drives for scoring more points than anybody in Spain and Germany and one extra drive for scoring more points than anybody across the whole season.
Leaving no stone unturned, Osian has turned to arguably the world’s finest driver coach Rob Wilson for advice.
“I spent a day with Rob after Germany,” said Osian. “He’s a bit of a legend to be honest, he’s worked with lots of rally drivers and most of the world’s leading Formula 1 drivers. It really helped working with Rob, the basic message was about being as efficient as possible with the car.
“Basically, it’s about finding tenths of seconds. These rallies are so close between all the DDFT guys, every tenth of a second counts. One tenth could be the difference between getting a bonus point for a stage win or not and that bonus point could be the difference between scoring more points than anybody else or not. Score more points and you take the title.
“All it takes is a tenth of a second.”
Osian and Dale start the biggest rally of their lives in Barcelona on Thursday October 13.
Date of birth: 24.02.93
Co-driver: Dale Furniss
First rally: Rally Kurzeme (Latvia) August 2009 – 37th overall, eighth 2WD
Rally starts: 61
British Rally Championship event wins: 5*
British Rally Championship results: 2nd (2013/14), 3rd (2012)
World Rally Championship starts: 9
World Rally Championship class wins: 3
* Including Osian’s dominant National Rally Cup victory on this year’s Mid Wales Stages
About RallyRACC Catalunya-Costa Daurada
Competitive distance: 199.51 miles (321.08km)
Total distance: 856.48 miles (1,378.31km)
RallyRACC Catalunya-Costa Daurada itinerary
Thursday October 13
Shakedown, Salou 1.84 miles (2.97km) 0800
Ceremonial start, Salou 1315
SS1 Barcelona 1.98 miles (3.20km) 1806
Friday October 14
SS2 Caseres 1 7.76 miles (12.50km) 1008
SS3 Bot 1 4.03 miles (6.50km) 1036
SS4 Terra Alta 1 24.20 miles (38.95km) 1111
Service Ascó 1211
SS5 Caseres 2 7.76 miles (12.50km) 1418
SS6 Bot 2 4.03 miles (6.50km) 1446
SS7 Terra Alta 2 24.20 miles (38.95km) 1521
Service PortAventura 1721
Saturday October 15
SS8 Vilaplana 3.90 miles (6.28km) 0810
SS9 Alcover-Capafonts 1 12.38 miles (19.93km) 0849
SS10 Querol 1 13.21 miles (21.26km) 1021
SS11 El Montmell 1 15 miles (24.14km) 1103
Service PortAventura 1231
SS12 Alcover-Capafonts 2 12.38 miles (19.93km) 1357
SS13 Querol 2 13.21 miles (21.26km) 1529
SS14 El Montmell 2 15 miles (24.14km) 1611
SS15 Salou 1.39 miles (2.24km) 1800
Service PortAventura 1820
Sunday October 16
SS16 Pratdip 1 11.99 miles (19.30km) 0724
SS17 Duesaigües 1 7.51 miles (12.10km) 0813
Service PortAventura 0905
SS18 Pratdip 2 11.99 miles (19.30km) 1039
SS19 Duesaigües 2 7.51 miles (12.10km) 1208
Service PortAventura 1318
Finish Podium Salou 1341
RallyRACC Catalunya-Costa Daurada media contact:
+34 618 739 739
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 are the details and an Osian download on the big five.
Been and gone…
Osian outings: 2 (2015, retired – mechanical; 2016 1st in 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, 2nd Junior WRC; 2016 2nd in 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.
Osian outings: 1
Stage wins: 5
Stages led: 15
It doesn’t get much better than this: Osian and Dale lead from start to finish in a supremely quick and perfectly controlled victory on their Rally Germany debut.
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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