Welshman Pryce leads in Finland


News release

Welshman Pryce leads in Finland

Machynlleth rally driver Osian Pryce set a sensational pace through the opening day of Rally Finland to lead the Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy standings.

Despite never having competed on the world’s fastest rally roads, Osian stunned onlookers and locals alike with his pace on the latest round of the World Rally Championship. Only once out of the top-two stage times on the central Finnish roads, Osian and co-driver Dale Furniss have led the DDFT category for seven of the 12 tests run so far.

Driving his Ford Fiesta R2T, Pryce has loved his first day on the rollercoaster roads.

“We’ve had a very good day, probably better than I expected being a rookie here,” said Osian. “We’ve pushed hard in some places, had one pretty big moment and a couple of slides, but otherwise it’s been really enjoyable. The roads are fantastic and some of the jumps are incredible.

“The M-Sport boys have done a great job with the car, which has been perfect and the same with the tyres – the DMACKs have been just the job.

“It was quite rough in some places this afternoon and, I’ll be honest, I didn’t really expect that from this event. Some of the stages are quite soft and they’ve dug out a little bit and pulled some fairly big rocks. We’ve had to go off the line a few times to avoid them, but that’s the same for everybody.

“The plan for tomorrow is to try and keep the speed about the same and stay out of trouble.”

Tomorrow starts with the world-renowned Ouninpohja stage – a road so famous, Britain’s first world champion Colin McRae named his racehorse after it!

“Ouninpohja’s some kind of wake-up call in the morning,” smiled Pryce. “I can’t wait for that though – I’ve heard so much about this legendary road and I’m sure it’s going to live up to that billing.”

Today was…

Osian’s day in detail. His times against his DDFT rivals.

SS1: 2ndfastest (2ndin DDFT) sensible start on the street stage

SS2: 2nd fastest (leads DDFT) cautious approach to first gravel stage

SS3: 2ndfastest (2ndin DDFT) couple of slides as the pace increases

SS4: 4thfastest (2ndin DDFT) overdriving the car a little bit, trying to take too much speed

SS5: fastest (2nd in DDFT) tricky stage, but fastest after a good push

SS6: 2ndfastest (2ndin DDFT) big moment on this one

SS7: fastest (2nd in DDFT) really slippery, but good feeling

SS8: 2ndfastest (2ndin DDFT) careful after seeing the rocks in the road

SS9: 2nd fastest (leads DDFT) a little bit too cautious in places

SS10: fastest (leads DDFT) caught in some dust, has to stop in one place

SS11: 2nd fastest (leads DDFT) more slippery than expected

SS12: 2nd fastest (leads DDFT) ran wide in one corner, otherwise good


Today: sunny, occasional cloud cover. Temperatures: 15-22 Celsius.

Tomorrow: overcast with rain showers expected through the day.

Tomorrow is…

Saturday July 30

Osian’s day starts: 0730

Osian’s day finishes: 2100

Number of stages: eight

Competitive distance: 93.71 miles (150.82km)

Total distance: 337.68 miles (543.42km)

Longest stage: SS13/17 Ouninpohja 20.50 miles (33.0km)

Shortest stage: SS16/20 Saalahti 2.73 miles (4.40km)

Meet Osian…

Date of birth: 24.02.93

Lives: Machynlleth

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

Website: osianpryce.com

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

About Rally Finland

July 28-July 31

Based: Jyväskylä

Surface: gravel

Stages: 24

Competitive distance: 333.99km (207.54 miles)

Total distance: 1370.66km (851.72 miles)

Website: www.nesterallyfinland.fi

Rally Finland Itinerary

Thursday July 28

Start Jyväskylä Paviljonki 1842

SS1 Harju 1 2.27km (1.41 miles) 1900

Friday July 29

SS2 Mökkiperä 1 8.60 miles (13.84km) 0713

SS3 Halinen 4.19 miles (6.75km) 0746

SS4 Jukojärvi 1 13.20 miles (21.25km) 0902

SS5 Surkee 1 9.28 miles (14.95km) 1039

SS6 Horkka 1 9.38 miles (15.10km) 1132

Service Jyväskylä Paviljonki 1234

SS7 Äänekoski-Valtra 4.59 miles (7.40km) 1410

SS8 Mökkiperä 2 8.60 miles (13.84km) 1508

SS9 Jukojärvi 2 13.20 miles (21.25km) 1638

SS10 Surkee 2 9.28 miles (14.95km) 1815

SS11 Horkka 2 9.38 miles (15.10km) 1908

SS12 Harju 2 1.41 miles (2.27km) 2030

Service Jyväskylä Paviljonki 2050

Saturday July 30

SS13 Ouninpohja 1 20.50 miles (33.0km) 0808

SS14 Päijälä 1 14.60 miles (23.50km) 0911

SS15 Pihlajakoski 1 9.01 miles (14.51km) 1034

SS16 Saalahti 1 2.73 miles (4.40km) 1152

Service Jyväskylä Paviljonki 1242

SS17 Ouninpohja 2 20.50 miles (33.0km) 1448

SS18 Päijälä 2 14.60 miles (23.50km) 1551

SS19 Pihlajakoski 2 9.01 miles (14.51km) 1714

SS20 Saalahti 2 2.73 miles (4.40km) 1832

Service Jyväskylä Paviljonki 1922

Sunday July 31

SS21 Lempää 1 4.28 miles (6.90km) 0828

SS22 Oittila 1 6.33 miles (10.20km) 0921

SS23 Lempää 2 4.28 miles (6.90km) 1115

SS24 Oittila 2 6.33 miles (10.20km) 1308

Finish Jyväskylä Paviljonki 1413

Neste Rally Finland media contact:
Terhi Heloaho


+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

Weight: 1030kg

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…

Rally Portugal

May 19-22

Based: Matosinhos

Surface: gravel

Osian outings: 2 (2015, retired – mechanical; 2016 1stin 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, 2ndJunior WRC)

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.

Happening now…

Rally Finland

July 28-31

Based: Jyväskylä

Surface: gravel

Osian outings: 0

Osian says: “Talk to anybody involved in rallying and they’ll talk about Finland. It’s the spiritual home of our sport. OK, recently we’ve had a couple of French guys dominating the sport, but Finland’s where it’s at when it comes to the big heroes in the world championship. And you only have to take a look at the roads to see why some of the best drivers in the world come from here. The speed’s high and the jumps are just incredible – we’ll be flying through the air for 30 or 40 metres at more than 100mph this summer. Can’t wait for take off!”

Up and coming…

Rally Germany

August 18-21

Based: Trier

Surface: asphalt

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

October 13-16

Based: Salou

Surface: gravel/asphalt

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. 

Media contact:

Sandra Evans

+44 7887 693993


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Ouninpohja’s some kind of wake-up call in the morning,” smiled Pryce. “I can’t wait for that though – I’ve heard so much about this legendary road and I’m sure it’s going to live up to that billing.
Osian Pryce