Osian Pryce drove steadily on the Rally of Northern Ireland this weekend to take a credible tenth place overall on the fifth round of the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship event.
Pitched against local and International drivers, Pryce and co-driver Iestyn Williams took their G&M Pryce Builders backed Ford Fiesta R2 to second place in the Fiesta Sport Trophy during the same event and scored 18 points. This puts Pryce at the head of the FST Championship, eleven points ahead of second placed Jussi Kumpumaki of Finland.
The event was however not without its drama. On the first day, Pryce was out on the Knockboy stage running on slick tyres when the heavens opened. Approaching a hairpin bend at junction 5, the car refused to slow despite Pryce downshifting through several gears, eventually managing to negotiate the bend by use of the handbrake.
“It was a massive heart stopping moment at the time and I could see it was going to be touch and go for getting the car around that turn,” he said, “but afterwards, it was a huge relief and Iestyn and I couldn't stop laughing!
“On the first day, the stages were so bumpy that we broke the cable on the intercom to my headset so it was crackling and I could barely Iestyn calling the notes. We swapped headsets so that I could hear Iestyn perfectly, but he couldn't hear himself calling the notes. Despite this, we put in a solid performance.”
For this event, Pryce and Williams were nominated points scorers for the Cumbria based M-Sport team, whose principal and former British Rally Championship winner Malcolm Wilson picked the crew for their consistent performance in the Fiesta Sport Trophy.
“It's been great to pick up points for the M-Sport team,” he said, “but I backed off on the last two stages as my priority was to score well on the Fiesta Sport Trophy as I knew that we could take the championship lead if we finished the event.”