Welshman Pryce leads in Finland
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.”
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.
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)
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)
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:
+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
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)
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: 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…
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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