British Rally Ch’ship

OSIAN Pryce claimed third place in last weekend’s Ypres Rally, the fourth round of the Prestone MSA British Rally Championship (BRC), to stay top of the rankings.

The Aberangell ace and co-driver Dale Furniss headed to Belgium for the first foreign rally in the BRC’s 59 year history which was won by Keith Cronin and fellow Irishman Mike Galvin.

The testing 20 stage tarmac rally claimed many a victim on its opening day with three time BRC champion Cronin holding his nerve to cross the line for his first BRC win in five years.

Aberdovey’s Tom Cave retired on stage 10 when his Hyundai came to a grinding halt.

Cronin was joined on the podium by runners-up Matt Edwards and Darren Garrod in their Hankook tyre-shod Ford Fiesta R5 with Pryce and Furniss’ third place finish enough to keep the Spencer Sport crew top of the BRC rankings.

Pryce said: “This event has gone from being a bit of a disaster to something very positive. It didn’t start well for us and to be honest we struggled for 70 per cent of it but the amount we have learnt is absolutely massive.

“It’s great to do such a massive event like this, with all the spectators and atmosphere. Plus, the level of competition is so high. Many haven’t made it and we are glad to be back at the finish.

“As the new boy in R5 cars, to be leading the championship is very special and I cannot wait for my home event in two weeks.”

The fifth round of the championship, the famous Nicky Grist Stages will be held in Builth Wells from July 8-9, starting at 8am.

The rally will incorporate gravel section and tarmac at the Epynt ranges with service at the Royal Welsh Showground before the closing ceremony in Builth town centre.

Neil Cross, Nicky Grist Stages clerk of the course, said: “We are particularly pleased to be bringing the start of this year’s Nicky Grist Stages into the heart of Builth Wells, giving residents and visitors the opportunity to get close to the cars and drivers before they head off to the stages.”