DDFT 2016 – Rookie Armstrong claims maiden win at Rally Poland


Jon Armstrong and Noel O'Sullivan.- Credit: @World

Northern Ireland’s Jon Armstrong claimed his maiden win the 2016 Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy after an enthralling weekend battle with Wales’ Osian Pryce.

Armstrong finished fourth in the opening round of the championship and fought off the Welshman, who won Rally Portugal to claim his first win in the championship. Jon Armstrong is now six points behind the leader Osian Pryce in the Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy standings in second.

Pryce led for most of the weekend on the fast and furious roads of Poland only to surrender a 43.8 second lead he had built over the weekend due to changing weather conditions. This meant Armstrong could capitalise on the tough final day to claim his first win alongside his co-driver Noel O’Sullivan.

Pryce did manage to find some consolation for finishing second which meant the Welshman has pocketed two WRC2 prize drives for being the top points scorer in the opening two rallies of the 2016 Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy. Bernard Sousa, after the heartbreak of crashing out in his home rally in Portugal claimed the final podium position in third.

@World Photography
@World Photography

England’s Gus Greensmith finished fourth after shrugging off some technical difficulties earlier on in the weekend. Max Vatanen, son of 1981 World Rally Champion Ari Vatanen was fifth as he took on the rally with new co-driver Maxime Vilmot.

Local driver Jakub Brzeziński performed well in his second outing in the Championship in sixth, while Oscar Solberg, Nicolas Ciamin and Karan Patel completed the final classification for Rally Poland 2016.

Armstrong said post-Poland “The first day started off well and we had a pretty good pace with our notes working really well. On Saturday we lost time, but today we’ve been quick in the wet and unfortunately Osian had some problems, which meant we took the win back. I think overall we were one of the quickest this weekend so it’s well deserved and I’m very happy. We’ve worked hard for it.”

Pryce said after winning two WRC2 drives in 2017 “I’m over the moon to have won the prize drives, a bit disappointed to have finished second in the end, but points mean prizes. It’s great that we have something secured for next year and we’re really looking forward to stepping into an R5 car in WRC2.”

Sousa added “We had a lack of speed on the first morning and after that it was a little bit hard to recover. Step by step, stage by stage we managed to improve a little bit. The podium is good but it’s not enough and after Portugal we need to do things much faster and try to recover as many points as possible.”

DRIVE DMACK FIESTA TROPHY 2016 Rally Poland – Final Results

  1. Jon Armstrong/Noel O’Sullivan (Rookie) 3h 10m 16.9s
  2. Osian Pryce/Dale Furniss 3h 11m 10.5s
  3. Bernardo Sousa/Hugo Magalhaes  3h 11m 38.5s
  4. Gus Greensmith/Alex Gelsomino 3h 12m 15.2s
  5. Max Vatanen/Maxime Vilmot 3h 13m 05.1s
  6. Jakub Brzeziński/Bartłomiej Boba (Rookie) 3h 20m 32.2s
  7. Oscar Solberg/Patrik Barth (Rookie) h 23m 21.1s
  8. Nicolas Ciamin/Thibault de la Haye (Rookie)  3h 27m 50.0s
  9. Karan Patel/Phil Hall 3h 31m 14.6s