Pryce and O’Sullivan crowned British Rally Champions
Victory at Trackrod Rally Yorkshire was enough for Osian Pryce and co-driver Noel O’Sullivan to wrap up a maiden Motorsport UK British Rally Championship title.
A faultless run in the Melvyn Evans Motorsport-prepared Volkswagen Polo GTi began with the 11-mile Dalby test on Friday evening, with Pryce and O’Sullivan stretching out a 5.2-second advantage over their chief title rivals, four-time winner Keith Cronin and Mike Galvin.
Try as Cronin might, Pryce proved unstoppable out front throughout the event, winning four of the six stages en route to victory. The Irishman was able to salvage second, recovering to re-pass Ruari Bell, but his bid for a record-equalling fifth crown will have to wait another year.
“I have always wanted to have my name on that trophy,” said Pryce, reflecting on his achievement.
“It has been such a long process to make this happen and I have to say a huge thank you to everyone who has made this happen.”
“We have been patient, the hunger never faded so I’m so glad we persevered and kept at it. I’ve tried to do this for many, many years and I’ll forever be in debt for people’s generosity, kindness and support, I just hope this repays them because I’m very proud of them and proud of what we have achieved.”
In the National Rally Championship, Alan Carmichael finally made the step from runner-up to champion, nursing their Hyundai i20 to the finish amidst cooling problems to secure the title in dramatic fashion.
Craig Jones and Ian Taylor took home maximum points, successfully navigating the Yorkshire forests to put their Fiesta 4X4 in the winner’s circle – albeit slightly bruised and missing bumpers!
Eamon Kelly was crowned in the Junior British Rally Championship last time out at Ceredigion, but the motivation to return and take a fourth win of the campaign was to secure the co-driver honour for Conor Mohan.
Sheared wheel studs for erstwhile second-place runners Ioan Lloyd and Sion Williams forced them out of the running, promoting Johnnie Mulholland and Eoin Treacy to the runner-up spot.