Osian Pryce took inspiration from deceased 2001 World Rally Champion Richard Burns as he finished sixth in Rally Finland 2016 in the Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy.
The Welshman with co-driver Dale Furniss at the wheel of the Ford Fiesta R5 won two out of the three days in Finland. Pryce’s hopes of claiming a second win in three rallies were in tatters as he and Furniss slid off on Saturday’s SS14, losing the lead of the rally. Finland’s Max Vatanen claimed victory in Finland despite the gap now being five points between Pryce and Vatanen in the Trophy Standings.
Pryce did make a great first impression on the event where experience counts for everything on the fast-flowing stages of Rally Finland, finishing in sixth place.
Pryce said post-Finland “This might sound a bit strange, given that we missed winning another two prize drives for next year, but I’m absolutely delighted. Honestly. Everybody talks about Finland as the place to come and show your pace – but at the same time, it’s a place where experts say it’s impossible to come and be on the pace first time out.
“The person who inspired me here was Richard Burns. He came to this rally for the first time in 1998 and finished fifth overall. The following year, he almost won it. Being a fellow Brit, Richard’s always been a huge hero of mine and I definitely try to follow his neat, tidy, efficient style of driving.
“Richard showed it’s possible to come here with no experience and do really well. Of course, I’m not comparing what I’ve done with him, but I used his example and I feel I’ve shown what I can do as a Finland rookie. Leading a Finn in Finland at the end of day one was a special moment. As were all of the fastest times.”
Pryce also looked ahead to Germany, adding “I want to thank the M-Sport boys again for the effort they put in to getting the car sorted yesterday (Saturday). The car was absolutely perfect for us today and that’s thanks to them.
“It’s also right that we say a big thanks to DMACK for the perfect tyres this week. We had no issues whatsoever and the tyres were consistent in performance and wear on all of the stages.
“It was really important for me to be back in the car again before we go to Germany. It’s that getting back on the bike thing. The first asphalt event is just two weeks away now – I can’t wait!”