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Drive DMACK Fi­esta Tro­phy new­comer Osian Pryce starts a must-win sea­son at the Rally of Por­tu­gal this week

The 23-year-old has told MN his fu­ture ca­reer hangs on suc­cess in this year’s world cham­pi­onship-based Ford Fi­esta series.

Welsh­man Pryce con­tested last year’s Ju­nior WRC and led the first two rounds be­fore hit­ting me­chan­i­cal trou­ble aboard his DS 3 R3T. A re­peat of last year will spell the end of Pryce’s as­pi­ra­tions of turn­ing pro­fes­sional.

“We’re putting a hell of a lot into this year again,” he said.

“We need to make it hap­pen this time. My co-driver Dale [Fur­niss] and my fam­ily have all agreed that we give it our best shot again this year and if it doesn’t hap­pen, if we don’t get some­thing out of it then we have to ac­cept that it’s go­ing to be a hobby.”

The win­ner of the Drive DMACK Fi­esta Tro­phy will earn the right to tackle seven rounds in WRC2 in 2017.

Pryce ad­mits he’s in a very dif­fer­ent po­si­tion to that which he was in 12 months ago when he flew to Por­tu­gal to make his over­seas World Rally Cham­pi­onship de­but.

“I’d been do­ing the Bri­tish Rally Cham­pi­onship for a long time then,” he said. “And that was all good – we’d won some ral­lies and come close to the ti­tle. But I had no idea at all where my pace was on a WRC round. A year ago, I was so ner­vous about ev­ery­thing. This time we’re go­ing to Por­tu­gal hav­ing been there be­fore and with a bit more con­fi­dence.”

Pryce is one of three Bri­tish driv­ers com­pet­ing in this year’s DDFT, with North­ern Ir­ish­man Jon Arm­strong and Eng­land’s Gus Green­smith the oth­ers.

Green­smith won last year’s DDFT rookie award and ad­mits 2015 taught him a lot. Twelve months ago he wasn’t able to com­plete the recce for Por­tu­gal – be­cause he was re­vis­ing for his A lev­els. His prepa­ra­tions are dif­fer­ent this time. The 19-year-old said: “I couldn’t have done any more to be ready. I’ve not left any stone un­turned and I’ve done ev­ery sin­gle thing that needs to be cov­ered.”

Green­smith’s prepa­ra­tions in­cluded a two-day test in the Fafe area last week.

Bri­tish co-driv­ers Phil Hall and An­drew Ed­wards are also com­pet­ing in DDFT, work­ing with Karan Pa­tel and Dil­lon Van Way re­spec­tively.

Green­smith: Com­peted in BRC Pryce is at a cru­cial point

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