‘Pryce wants to topple Rovanpera’
Welshman Osian Pryce has set his sights on toppling Kalle Rovanpera as a way back into the World Rally Championship.
Former Drive DMACK Cup winner Pryce has missed much of this season due to a lack of sponsorship, but is working on a four-round WRC2 return targeting the 18-year-old Finn next season.
Pryce returned to international rallying with a sensational second place on the Spanish gravel event Rally Ciudad de Granada. Giving the Toyota Etios R4 its competitive debut, Pryce and co-driver Dale Furniss won three stages on their way to second place. Much as Pryce appreciated the run in Spanish team ASM’S R4 car, his sights remain higher.
“We’ve got to target Kalle,” Pryce told Motorsport News. “He’s the guy that everybody’s talking about, he’s the driver every team wants, so if we can get past him then that’s going to help get us back up there.
“Tom [Cave] showed it’s possible to get near to him on Rally GB this year, so we’re looking at four rallies where we’ve been before to see what we can do. Kalle’s a young lad, but he’s got a lot of experience and he’s spending a lot of time driving a car – he’s become the benchmark and that’s why we’ve got to get out there and try to beat him.”
Pryce is putting together a WRC2 programme including Portugal, Germany, Spain and GB.
Pryce has only started four WRC rounds in an R5 car, but has set times close to or at the front of the WRC2 pack on each occasion. Two of his outings came in an M-sport-run Fiesta R5 courtesy of winning the DMACK series. The 25-year-old is keen to retain those M-sport links.
“M-sport has been really good to me and I want to work with them going forward,” he said. “At the same time, I want to keep the good Ford links with [sponsor] Hills Ford. Having said that, if a Skoda’s coming in a lot cheaper for the four rallies then I’d be mad not to consider it – the priority right now is to get back into the WRC and get people talking about us again.”
Pryce was second on his R4 outing
Pryce is ready to step up in 2019