No place like home for Welsh rally star Osian


News release

No place like home for Welsh rally star Osian

A Wales Rally GB dream two months in the making began for Osian Pryce in Colwyn Bay this evening (Thursday).

Just 11 days after celebrating victory in the prestigious WRC-based Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy at the Rally of Spain, Brecon-based Pryce is stepping up to his toughest sporting assignment yet.

Osian and co-driver Dale Furniss will go head-to-head with the fastest drivers from around the world as Wales Rally GB thunders through the woods of north and mid-Wales. The Welsh pair will be chasing WRC2 glory to round off what’s already been an exceptional season on the world stage.

WRC2 is the main feeder category to the World Rally Championship itself and the Ford Fiesta R5 has almost twice the power Osian’s been used to in the DDFT series. On top of that, Osian will enjoy total traction from the R5’s state-of-the-art four-wheel drive system.

“There’s no doubt, this car’s a real step up,” said Osian. “The acceleration off the line and out of the slower corners is just unbelievable. It’s an amazing piece of kit.”

Osian drove a Fiesta R5 on this event two years ago, but this is the first time he’s registered for WRC2.

“It’s a big deal to take on the drivers in WRC2,” he said. “A lot of the guys who have been in there all season are moving up to the main WRC next year. This is where it’s at for aspiring drivers in the world championship, so it’s a real honour and privilege to be here.

“And, I don’t mind a bit of a relief to be here; the day after we flew home from winning the championship in Barcelona, we lost a sponsor and it looked like our Wales Rally GB dream was over. I got straight on the phone and worked non-stop to find some more funding to keep us on the road. Having got this far, nothing was going to stop me! And now we’re here, it’s amazing. I can’t wait to get started.”

Osian completed this morning’s shakedown test in Clocaenog forest, close to Ruthin. With his final preparations complete, it was over to Colwyn Bay for the ceremonial start at a packed Parc Eirias.

Tomorrow starts well before dawn with the journey south for a day of stages around Newtown.

“We got a fantastic reception at the start,” said Osian. “Being one of the top Welsh runners, the crowd really got behind us and that means a lot. It’s a fantastic buzz.

“But the business starts tomorrow, with the longest day of the event. The key for tomorrow is to settle myself in and try not to make any mistakes.

“I haven’t got anything like the kind of experience of these cars the guys I’m competing against have and, of course, they’ve been driving them all season. Let’s see what happens. I’m in a nice position really: I’ve won the title I wanted this year and this is a chance to relax and do the biggest rally in Britain without the pressure and expectation of a season-long title fight.”

Osian’s five favourite Welsh facts:

The top of the world is named after a Welshman: Mount Everest was so-called after Breconshire surveyor Sir George Everest in 1865.

Beaumaris’ Ye Old Bull’s Head Inn can boast Britain’s largest hinged door. The entrance to the coach yard is protected by a door 13ft high and 11ft wide.

Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium has the largest retractable roof of any sports stadium in the world. Total area is 26,862 square metres.

Don’t mess with Wales – the nation has more castles per square mile than anywhere else in the world.

Forget Wimbledon. Lawn tennis was born in Wales, in Major Walter Wingfield’s garden close to the base for today’s shakedown in Ruthin.

Tomorrow is:

Friday October 28

Osian’s day starts: 0610

Osian’s day finishes: 2020

Number of stages: 8

Competitive distance: 178.22km (110.74 miles)

Total distance: 624.93km (388.33 miles)

Longest stage: SS3/7 Hafren 35.14km (21.83 miles)

Shortest stage: SS2/6 Sweet Lamb 4.24km (2.63 miles)

Meet Osian…

Date of birth: 24.02.93

Lives: Machynlleth

Co-driver: Dale Furniss

First rally: Rally Kurzeme (Latvia) August 2009 – 37th overall, eighth 2WD

Rally starts: 62

British Rally Championship event wins: 5*

British Rally Championship results: 2nd (2013/14), 3rd (2012)

World Rally Championship starts: 10

World Rally Championship class wins: 3


* Including Osian’s dominant National Rally Cup victory on this year’s Mid Wales Stages

About Dayinsure Wales Rally GB

October 27-30

Based: Deeside

Surface: gravel

Stages: 22

Competitive distance: 330.21km (205.19 miles)

Total distance: 1295.94km (805.29 miles)


Dayinsure Wales Rally GB Itinerary

Thursday October 27

Shakedown stage, Clocaenog 3.32 km (2.06 miles)

Ceremonial start, Parc Eirias, Colwyn Bay 1830

Friday October 28

SS1 Myherin 1 31.82km (19.77 miles) 0820

SS2 Sweet Lamb 1 4.24km (2.63 miles) 0911

SS3 Hafren 1 35.14km (21.83 miles) 0924

SS4 Dyfnant 1 17.91km (11.12 miles) 1115

Remote tyre fitting zone at Newtown 1236

SS5 Myherin 2 31.82km (19.77 miles) 1354

SS6 Sweet Lamb 2 4.24km (2.63 miles) 1445

SS7 Hafren 2 35.14km (21.83 miles) 1458

SS8 Dyfnant 2 17.91km (11.12 miles) 1649

Service Deeside 1945

Saturday October 29 

SS9 Pantperthog 1 9.64km (5.99 miles) 0818

SS10 Dyfi 1 21.12km (13.12 miles) 0851

SS11 Gartheiniog 1 11.34km (7.04 miles) 0927

SS12 Pantperthog 2 9.64km (5.99 miles) 1104

SS13 Dyfi 2 21.12km (13.12 miles) 1137

SS14 Gartheiniog 2 11.34km (7.04 miles) 1213

SS15 Aberhirnant 13.91km (8.64 miles) 1318

SS16 Cholmondeley Castle 1.80km (1.11 miles) 1541

Service Deeside 1633

Sunday October 30

SS17 Clocaenog 1 7.70km (4.78 miles) 0831

SS18 Brenig 1 7.93km (4.92 miles) 0908

SS19 Alwen 1 10.41km (6.46 miles) 0928

SS20 Clocaenog 2 7.70km (4.78 miles) 1033

SS21 Alwen 2 10.41km (6.46 miles) 1114

SS22 Brenig 2 7.93km (4.92 miles) 1208

Finish Llandudno 1700

Dayinsure Wales Rally GB media contact:
Jonathan Gill 

+44 (0)1372 414120

Now say hello to the Ford Fiesta R5

Engine: 1600cc turbo, 32mm restrictor

Max power: 280bhp @ 6,200rpm

Transmission: Sadev five-speed sequential gearbox, Sadev front /rear differential

Suspension: Adjustable Reiger dampers, MacPherson struts front/rear

Brakes: 300mm discs four-piston calipers; hydraulic handbrake

Wheels: OZ Racing 7x15-inch

Dimensions: length 3982mm; width 1695mm; height 1481mm; wheelbase 2490mm

Osian’s championship-winning 2016 so far…

Rally Portugal

May 19-22

Based: Matosinhos

Surface: gravel

Osian outings: 2 (2015, retired – mechanical; 2016 1st in DDFT)

Result: 1st

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.

Rally Poland

June 30-July 3

Based: Mikolajki

Surface: gravel

Osian outings: 2 (2015, 2nd Junior WRC; 2016 2nd in DDFT)

Result: 2nd

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.

Rally Finland

July 28-31

Based: Jyväskylä

Surface: gravel

Osian outings: 1

Result: 6th

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.

Rally Germany

August 18-21

Based: Trier

Surface: asphalt

Osian outings: 1

Result: 1st

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.

Rally of Spain

October 13-16

Based: Salou

Surface: gravel/asphalt

Osian outings: 1

Result: 5th

Stage wins: 4

Stages led: 1

Crowned DDFT Champions for 2016.

Media contact:

Sandra Evans

+44 7887 693993

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It’s a big deal to take on the drivers in WRC2,” he said. “A lot of the guys who have been in there all season are moving up to the main WRC next year. This is where it’s at for aspiring drivers in the world championship, so it’s a real honour and privilege to be here.
Osian Pryce