by Geoff Mayes
Jason Pritchard ensured that his championship is well and truly back on track after a highly competitive run on the ultra tricky Ulster Rally last weekend, where the Builth Wells resident secured the runner up position in the Citroen C2R2cup.
Pritchard, who is co-driven by Welshpool based George Gwynn in the North Road Garage supported Citroen C2R2, was returning to Ireland for the first time since a violent crash on the West Cork Rally. Any concerns that the pair might have had about their performance on the technical Irish lanes were well and truly put to rest this weekend. With the rally counting toward both the British and Irish C2R2 series this would be the most competitive round of either championship.
The pair adopted the same strategy that had worked so well on the Isle of Man back in July, and settled into a comfortable pace on Friday night. Pritchard was not altogether happy with the handling on the car and quickly adjusted the little pocket rocket to suit the conditions. Whilst a puncture on the final night time stage cost the pair quite some time they still returned to Armagh at the end of day one fourth amongst the C2's, and a mere four seconds behind Irish pace setter Martin McCormack.
After a team meeting, the pair made a conscious decision overnight to consolidate their position and when the weather turned nasty for the final six stages the pair were glad to not need to push hard, eventually returning to the ceremonial finish as the runners up in both the Irish and British C2R2cups.
"What a brilliant way to put our gremlins to bed," Pritchard said. "The rally went perfectly, the car was faultless, with the C2 performing brilliantly for me, and George was spot on. The series is now looking quite exciting and I can't wait to head back to the Trackrod."
"Three months ago our championship suffered a setback but has only made us more hungry for the challenge," Gwynn added. "Jason is a talented driver and we have really jelled as a team. This weekend was damn near perfect and not only has it really boosted our championship hopes, but it's given us a bit more silverware for the cabinets too!"
The pair now head to Pickering for the International Rally Yorkshire. After missing the Pirelli Rally, back in April, this will mark the first time that the pair have competed together on the loose stuff.