Osian Pryce wins Todds Leap Rally NI

Welshman Osian Pryce won the fourth round of the 2013 MSA British Rally Championship, Todds Leap Rally NI this weekend, becoming the youngest driver to win a BRC event since current WRC front-runner Jari Matti-Latvala in 2003. Pryce's victory with co-driver Dale Furniss came after a nail biting first day, in which first Alastair Fisher/Gordon Noble, then leaders Tom Cave/Ieuan Thomas crashed out of the event, which had started with torrential rain in Enniskillen.

Championship leaders Jukka Korhonen and Marko Salminen, climbed from a lowly eleventh place on the opening stage to finish second and thus extend their championship lead to seventeen points and must now be favourites for the title. Korhonen admitted that he was playing it safe, having never driven on wet asphalt before and playing the championship game.

Northern Irish pride was upheld by Mark Donnelly, who recorded his best result this season in the Pirelli Star Driver car and helped DGM Sport stay at the top of the BRC Teams Cup. He and Welsh co-driver Dai Roberts eventually clicked with the CitroŽn DS3, buoying their confidence with some fastest stage times.

The result is a momentous one for 20 year old Pryce from Machynlleth and after the rally he was clearly pleased: "We thought it was all over on the very first stage when we hit a bank, but we must have found the softest one in Ireland and to come back from sixth was fantastic. They were that hardest stages I have ever done, but it felt like the right time to win a BRC rally and I was three times hungrier for it than last year in Yorkshire, when we came so close."

1. Osian Pryce/Dale Furniss - CitroŽn DS3 R3T 2h 05m 36.7s
2. Jukka Korhonen/Marko Salminen - CitroŽn DS3 R3T 2h 06m 27.6s
3. Mark Donnelly /Dai Roberts - CitroŽn DS3 R3T 2h 07m 15.4s

The next event is Rally Yorkshire, the penultimate round of the 2013 season, over the last week end of September.

25th August, 2013