The Checkered Flag caught up with one of Wales’ rising rally stars, Osian Pryce, as we managed to have a word with the 2016 Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy-winner.
Immediately, we discussed with Pryce about the departure of Volkswagen Motorsport from the FIA World Rally Championship and the impact it has had on the chances of him securing a WRC seat in the future.
“It’s more difficult because it’s one whole team that’s vanished from the championship,” Pryce explained. ”The chances of a opportunity in the WRC are limited now to two teams for a driver seat, because of Volkswagen’s departure from the championship.”
With Toyota returning to the World Rally Championship in 2017, the Welshman is relying on results and experience to come his way in WRC2 next season.
“It all depends on how it goes in the next couple of years with driver line-ups being sorted,” said Pryce. “We hope to achieve what we want to achieve in the next few years and gain experience along the way.
“Rally GB was our benchmark for next season. I hope to be in the top five for as many WRC2 events as possible, but it’s about getting as much experience as possible in the car and taking each day as it comes.”
It turned out to be a disappointing Wales Rally GB for Pryce as he retired two stages before the end of the rally with a water leak in his Ford Fiesta R5 radiator.
Osian spoke about his disappointment of not finishing on his “home rally”.
“It was quite disappointing as we had issues on each day of the rally with the car. Sunday, we had a clutch issue, and then we had a radiator issue, two stages before the finish.
“We worked two months on Rally GB and to see my family and friends watching and not performing to the level I wanted due to problems with the car was gutting.”
Throughout the 2016 DDFT season, Osian has been partnered with his co-driver Dale Furniss, who have won twice this season on their way to being the first British pairing to win the Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy.
Pryce looked back at his 2016 season in the DDFT “We had a poor 2015, so 2016 was about getting as many good results as possible. My main focus was winning the title as it was our last chance on the budget we had.
“From Day 1, the aim was to win the championship and we did that. We did what we could at Spain despite having a spark plug problem, but luckily it all came along in the end.”
Pryce did mention about his possible future in the WRC and what the future holds for the Machynlleth-based driver.
“There’s not much time in the future as I’m looking to get back in the car for Winter testing. We showed our speed this year and we are looking to gain as much experience as possible in WRC2 next season.
“Nothing’s ever a definite in life and there’s always an element of luck on your side in order to get a WRC drive.”