Osian romps to Rali Ceredigion victory!

4 September 2023

Osian Pryce reminded fans why he is the reigning British rally champion by winning the biggest and most prestigious rally in the UK when he romped to victory on the 2023 JDS Machinery Rali Ceredigion (2-3 September).

It was the second time that the 30-year old Machynlleth born driver had won the close road stage event, having clinched victory there in 2019. 

As well as being presented with the wonderful winning Rali Ceredigion event trophies, Osian also took home the top-placed Tour European Rally silverware.

It wasn’t all plain sailing, as Osian overshot a junction on the opening stage and stalled the engine of his Melvyn Evans Motorsport-prepared Volkswagen Polo GTI R5.

Co-driven by Stéphane Prévot, fastest time on the next four out of five stages were to prove decisive, as Osian took and then opened up a healthy lead. 

It had been a calculated flat-out blast to gain an advantage, but one not without risk as a fifth gear brush with a hedge on SS4 proved how committed Osian was. But the plan to push hard on day one worked, for after the runs through the two Aberystwyth street stages Osian entered the overnight halt with an impressive 42.7 second lead.

Victory was his to lose on day two, which with six demanding stages – including the spectacular signature Nant y Moch test, named after the reservoir the stage ran alongside – wasn’t the easiest of rally days to survive unscathed. 

Yet Osian controlled the pace at the front magnificently, setting fastest time on the penultimate stage to show everyone that he was in complete control of the situation. His winning margin at the end of the 14 stage/100 stage mile event was 22.9 seconds. 

And it was made possible by the invaluable support of local businesses –including Hills Automotive, who have supported Osian since 2016.

“I’m delighted to win Rali Ceredigion for a second time, because it’s such a challenging event and the biggest and best rally in the UK,” said Osian.

“We had a great opening day and all the hard work was done then. To have such a big lead overnight wasn’t in the script at all. A few of the top crews had a problem on the first day, myself included, but we came out on top and from then on it was a case of managing the situation.

“It was hard going into the final day of the event with such a big lead. I’d rather be in a fight and fully committed because starting day two I knew that victory was there for us to lose. That’s why we had a bit of a push on the penultimate stage, just to make sure what we were doing was right and we weren’t easing off too much. That said, on the last stage we were very cautious! We had enough of a buffer by then and I wasn’t too fussed about how many seconds we won by, just so long as the win came!

“It’s good to get back on the horse properly and to get my mojo back. It’s been a hard slog raising the funds needed to go rallying this year and now everything feels worth it. It’s nice to have so many local businesses on the car – they’ve made this event possible and this win’s for them.

“I’d also like to thank the rally organisers for putting on such a world class event, the marshals for keeping the rally running so smoothly and the thousands of spectators that came to watch – it was really great to see so many people out enjoying the event. And a big thank you to the legend that is Stéphane Prévot for doing such a magnificent job in the co-driver’s seat.”

Pryce is supported by Michelin Motorsport, as a part of the Talent Factory programme, Demon Tweeks, Bell Racing helmets, OMP race suits, Hills Automotive, DL Jones Pontrobert Ltd (coach and taxi hire), MotoFit (performance training), Redkite Glass, Cwmni Diogel (Security and Event Management), Griffiths Graphics, Kitchen Door Changer, Kevin Williams Plant Hire, Bysiau Windy Corner Coaches, M Davies Plumbing & Heating, Jenkins Detailing, Speedy Sofas, VWTS Upgrades, Gorsaf Betrol Tymawr/Rheidol, and his own family-run specialist building firm G+M Pryce.

Pictures by Black Mountains Media