Pirelli Perfect Stage for Pryce
The Pirelli Carlisle R B Foundation Rally proved the perfect stage for Osian Pryce to showcase his talents, the young Welsh ace producing a dominant performance to lead the Carlisle based event from start to finish, and such was his pace that only Dan McKenna could stay in touch with third placed David Carney a somewhat remote 5 minutes in arrears.
The second day of the MSA British Championship’s opening round saw the crews head up to the North of Cumbria with four stages in the Kershope Forest complex, the surface much different with Kielders loose gravel being replaced by muddier, slippy conditions with the added complication of fog on higher ground.
The overnight leaderboard was soon radically altered, Gary Pearson being unable to restart, his Peugeot 208’s power steering problems proving unfixable. Chris Wheeler started the day under super rally regulations but compounded a dire weekends troubles by sliding off on the first stage which saw Aaron McClure lose time with a spin and a puncture, James Ford clipped a bridge but kept going and Tim Cathcart reported turbo problems.
The penultimate stage saw the demise of Calum Black, after holding 3rd place for so long, he slid off the road and was unable to get back on, Kim Baker finished this stage with the Renault Twingo’s exhaust hanging off, although Pryce felt his engine was down on power, it didn’t reflect in his times and he cruised to a dominant victory.
The supporting National Rally was won in some style by Peter Taylor who put the previous day’s disappointment behind him, fastest on all the days stages he ended up over a minute ahead of Andrew Gallagher with Peter Stephenson’s Focus WRC car completing the podium positions. Saturday’s National winner, Steven Clark, had brief rally today, going off on the opening stage which also claimed Blair Brown and Willie Bonniwell.