Jason Pritchard became the youngest winner of the British C2R2cup when he dominated proceedings on last weekends Wales Rally GB, taking class honours and the accolade of first two wheel drive home as well.
Pritchard began the weekend as one of three drivers in with a chance at winning the C2R2cup, Britain's most competitive one make championship. And after sub zero temperatures caused the opening stage of the rally to be cancelled Jason and co-driver George Gwynn knew that they would have to balance their pace with caution.
A strong run in icy conditions the week before on the Grizedale Stages must have prepared Pritchard well as he was not only fastest in class, but was also the quickest two wheel drive through the stage! This trait continued for the rest of the day and the North Road Garage backed Citroen C2R2 returned to Swansea with a healthy lead in class, and one hand on the championship trophy.
Whilst Pritchard, who is a member of the British Rally Elite, now only needed to finish the rally to ensure championship victory he was well aware of the need to concentrate and opted to continue at the same pace. Despite losing the intercom for two stages the FCS Laser Mail supported C2R2 navigated the icy stages with no dramas and returned to Cardiff for the ceremonial finish with a healthy cushion over their nearest class rival.
As well as winning the Citroen C2R2cup with no less than four victories and a total of five podium finishes Pritchard also won the Class R2 honours.
In the rally, the final round of the 2008 World Rally Championship, the pair took a number of awards, winning both their class and taking two wheel drive honours, by almost two minutes, and receiving the prestigious Richard Burns Award.
“Wow, I'm speechless,” Pritchard said. “This was the 76th running of the rally, and I was car #76 – some coincidence! Coming into this weekend both George and I knew that we had a big challenge ahead of us and I am so pleased that we have shown that we can rise to the fight. The road conditions were the trickiest that I have ever seen and we opted to take it cautiously. It's a strategy that worked well and I am over the moon with the result.
“I need to say a massive thanks to my parents and my girlfriend, and to George who did a fantastic job this year. But most importantly I need to thank Quick Motorsport, North Road Garage and FCS Laser Mail for their support this year.”
As well as winning the C2R2cup, which includes an upgraded C2R2max kit, Pritchard has also won a place on the forthcoming Pirelli Star Driver Shootout. This takes place this coming Thursday and Friday, with the successful recipient winning a fully funded season of rallying in the British Rally Championship.
Until the outcome of the shootout is known no plans for 2009 will be made, but the team is currently looking for the budget to contest a selection of events in Europe.
by Geoff Mayes