OSIAN Pryce won the Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally for the first time in his Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 to maintain his lead in the British Rally Championship with just one round remaining.

The result also continues his incredible record of finishing on the BRC podium in every round so far this year, with his success tally now standing at two maximum points scores, second on the Grampian Rally and Trackrod Rally Yorkshire and third on both the Neil Howard and Nicky Grist Stages.

Machynlleth-based Pryce leads the BRC drivers’ standings by eight points ahead of the final round, the Ulster Rally on Saturday, November 20.

Pryce started the Cambrian Rally at a blistering pace, taking an incredible 10 second lead on the opening 5.93-mile Gwydir stage in his Melvyn Evans Motorsport machine.

North Wales Pioneer: Osian Pryce in Cambrian Rally action.

Osian Pryce in Cambrian Rally action.

It was an extremely brave and skilful flat-out performance, as Pryce and co-driver Noel O’Sullivan were not entirely sure what the surface conditions were like after torrential overnight rain.

The opposite driving strategy was employed after title rival Matt Edwards hit problems on the opening stage of the afternoon loop (SS4) which left Pryce with a 56 second lead.

He immediately reduced the pace as from then on it was a case of protecting his advantage and making sure he reached the finish unscathed.

That didn’t stop him setting his fourth fastest time of the event on the penultimate stage, however, as he arrived at the finish on Llandudno promenade with his victory margin increased to 1min 04.6secs.

“I knew that to beat Matt on his home rally, something which a lot of people said couldn’t be done, that I would have to try to get the job done in the first two stages,” said Pryce.

“We did exactly what we needed to do and backed off a little bit on stage three. With a 10 second lead you’re already thinking that if you don’t make a mistake it’s going to be hard for someone to take a big chunk of time out of you on stages that are repeated.

North Wales Pioneer: Osian Pryce in Cambrian Rally action.

Osian Pryce in Cambrian Rally action.

“The plan was to then use our heads on the afternoon loop. I was expecting a counter-attack from Matt, but we knew what we needed to do to maintain our advantage.

“It was really unfortunate that Matt hit problems on the opening stage of the afternoon, and that of course completely altered our approach. From then on it was a case of getting the car home to the finish."

Pryce admitted it was not the most fun rally as he stuck to the script and ensured a slow and steady pace.

He said: "It was painful sometimes in the rougher and more slippery sections because we were going so slowly, but when conditions were okay we were able to press on a little bit and enjoy ourselves.

“It’s great to win the Cambrian for the first time. You always start a rally with the aim of an outright victory and that’s our first of the season and I’m delighted.

“It makes the battle for the British Rally Championship title very interesting. I’ll have to sit down and work out the points permutations, but it’s between Matt and myself now and of course the points to drop will play a significant role in the outcome.

“But looking back at the season so far, I couldn’t have really done a lot more to give myself a better chance of lifting the trophy and I have to be happy with that.”

Pryce is supported by Rocked-!T (helmet bag and custom made accessory case manufacturer), Liqui Moly (oils, lubricants and additives), LM Performance (Liqui Moly distributors), Auto Glanz (car care, detailing products, car cleaning kits and car wax), Omologato (motorsport watches), Michelin (tyres), Custom Fasteners (fasteners, fixings, nuts and bolts), The Forest Experience (rally school and test venue), DL Jones Wales Ltd (coach and taxi hire), (G+M Pryce (family-run building specialists), Hockly Motorsport (motorsport specialists) and Demon Tweeks.