Burns inspires Pryce to perfect and fastest Finnish finale
Burns inspires Pryce to perfect and fastest Finnish finale
Winning two of three days of Rally Finland, Osian Pryce ended the latest round of the Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy with an unbeaten run of four scratch times today.
Osian and co-driver Dale Furniss blitzed the opposition in their Ford Fiesta R2T today, backing up their outstanding, DDFT-leading pace on their first leg.
Osian’s hopes of a second win from three rallies were dashed when the Fiesta slid off the road and out of the lead on SS14 on Saturday morning. Despite missing the win (and two more DDFT prize drives to add to the two Osian scored in Poland last time out), Pryce made a huge impression on an event where experience is supposed to count for everything.
Osian said: “This might sound a bit strange, given that we missed winning another two prize drives for next year, but I’m absolutely delighted. Honestly. Everybody talks about Finland as the place to come and show your pace – but at the same time, it’s a place where experts say it’s impossible to come and be on the pace first time out. There were a good few folk who told me not to expect so much from my first time in Finland, it’s really nice to change that way of thinking.
“I did a lot of homework on this rally, talked to as many people as I could and watched more YouTube coverage than for any other event. The person who inspired me here was Richard Burns. He came to this rally for the first time in 1998 and finished fifth overall. The following year, he almost won it. Being a fellow Brit, Richard’s always been a huge hero of mine and I definitely try to follow his neat, tidy, efficient style of driving.
“Richard showed it’s possible to come here with no experience and do really well. Of course, I’m not comparing what I’ve done with him, but I used his example and I feel I’ve shown what I can do as a Finland rookie. Leading a Finn in Finland at the end of day one was a special moment. As were all of the fastest times.
“Yes, I wanted the win, yes I wanted the two more drives next season, but most of all I wanted to face Finland down and I feel I’ve done that a little bit in my own way. There was a real nervousness for Dale and I coming here; it was such a step into the unknown: would we have the speed to compete?
“Turns out we would!”
Osian’s day two roll not only forced him out of contention for a second win in three DDFT starts, but it also brought the M-Sport hammers out.
An afternoon panel-beating was time well spent, however.
Osian said: “I want to thank the M-Sport boys again for the effort they put in to getting the car sorted yesterday (Saturday). The car was absolutely perfect for us today and that’s thanks to them.
“It’s also right that we say a big thanks to DMACK for the perfect tyres this week. We had no issues whatsoever and the tyres were consistent in performance and wear on all of the stages.
“It was really important for me to be back in the car again before we go to Germany. It’s that getting back on the bike thing. The first asphalt event is just two weeks away now – I can’t wait!”
Osian’s day in detail. His times against his DDFT rivals.
SS21: fastest (7th in DDFT) cautious run, first time back in the car after roll
SS22: fastest (7th in DDFT) pushes harder for another stage win
SS23: fastest (6th in DDFT) Osian completes his hat-trick of stage wins
SS24: fastest (6th in DDFT) Osian completes the perfect day
Today: sunny with some cloud cover. Temperatures: 16-22 Celsius.
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…”
Date of birth: 24.02.93
Co-driver: Dale Furniss
First rally: Rally Kurzeme (Latvia) August 2009 – 37thoverall, eighth 2WD
Rally starts: 59
British Rally Championship event wins: 5*
British Rally Championship results: 2nd(2013/14), 3rd(2012)
World Rally Championship starts: 7
World Rally Championship class wins: 2
* Including Osian’s dominant National Rally Cup victory on this year’s Mid Wales Stages
About Rally Finland
July 28-July 31
Competitive distance: 333.99km (207.54 miles)
Total distance: 1370.66km (851.72 miles)
Neste Rally Finland media contact:
+358 40 682 2662
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
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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