‘Pryce wants to top­ple Ro­van­pera’

Brit­tar­gets­finn’ssuc­cess­fulimpactasabench­mark­for2019wrc2

Motor Sport News - - Rally News - By David Evans

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.”

Pho­tos: ERC Me­dia, Félix Trigueros Moruno – FTM Foto

Pryce was sec­ond on his R4 out­ing

Pryce is ready to step up in 2019

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