Osian entered the 2022 British Rally Championship season with high hopes of bettering his second place in the 2021 season. But nothing is certain in rallying, there was still a mountain to climb to get his hands on the trophy.
Having scored one win, three seconds and two thirds in the first six rallies of 2021, Osian retained the same successful package for the 2022 title challenge, he returned in the Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 prepared and run by Melvyn Evans Motorsport (the defending BRC Teams’ champions), with Michelin tyres and Irish co-driver Noel O’Sullivan.
Demon Tweeks have been proud to partner with both Osian and Noel for a second year running and have helped supply them both with equipment to give them the best chance to stand on the top step. They have been using the OMP One S Custom Design Suit, the One S Race Boots and One S Race Gloves. They have also been using the OMP fireproof underwear, the Bell Mag-10 Rally Pro Helmet, ZeroNoise Fearless Digital Intercom Amplifier and the ZeroNoise Professional Practice Headset.
7 rounds made up the 2022 British Rally Championship, continue reading to understand how the season unfolded and how Osian managed to overcome adversity and win his maiden title…
Round 1 – 23/24 April – Corbeau Seats Rally Tendring & Clacton – Clacton
Osian Pryce made the perfect start to his British Rally Championship campaign by winning the opening round of the 2022 series. This was encouraging as this rally was one of his weakest of the calendar, as he had much more experience on the events following this. However, it wasn’t easy, it started with two short stages along the Clacton-on-Sea promenade. Twelve stages followed on Sunday, with three loops of four stages run over nearby closed public roads, where Osian picked up the pace and moved into third place after SS4.
He closed in on leaders Keith Cronin/Mikie Galvin (Volkswagen Polo GTI R5) and in an exciting battle took the lead on SS12 – extending a 0.5 second advantage to a 5.4 second winning margin over the final two stages.
Osian stated “I’ve made slow starts in the British Rally Championship before which has immediately put me on the back foot, so this time I was determined to start well. I’m really chuffed that we managed to nail it and that everything went to plan”.
To read more of what Osian had to say at the event click through here.
Round 2 – 27/28 May – Beatson’s Building Supplies Jim Clark Rally – Duns
Back on the calendar after 7 years, not helped by COVID, which forced the popular closed road course back from 2021 to 2022. The last time the BRC competed around this part of the country only 2-wheel drive rally cars were eligible for the event! Today we see 4-wheel drive turbocharged cars take to the streets. As a result, it was an eagerly anticipated round of the championship as the win is open to anyone keen enough to grab it. Based in the town of Duns in Scotland it provided a variation of routes for the drivers to deal with. The Abbey St Bathans stage forms the longest of the event and is ran twice, once in daylight and once at twilight running into the night to truly test the drivers.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t Osians round as when chasing rival Keith Cronin on the first stage of the rally. But suffered a puncture on the second stage and failed to stop to change it. This resulted in an exclusion from the event by breaching a regulation which stated no driver can compete with a puncture. Keith Cronin took the win and as a result headed the championship going into the 3rd round.
Round 3 – 9 July – Nicky Grist Stages – Builth Wells
The first of the gravel rounds required a change in tactics compared to the first 2 events. This round was a huge milestone in Osian Pryce’s career as it marked his 100th rally start, so he was keen to make it an event to remember fondly.
“I have one win under my belt and heading onto some of the best stages in the world in one of the best R5 cars in the world and recording my one hundredth rally start; if that’s not something to look forward to I don’t know what is!” said Osian just before the event.
The margin for error on the Nicky Grist stages was small as fast flowing stages took place in the woods, with one mistake potentially ruling you out of the rally. This didn’t seem to faze Osian as he secured 5 fastest stage times. Starting with number 100 on the door of his Volkswagen Polo GTI R5, Osian took the lead on the opening stage of the Builth Wells-based rally and held it until the end of the 8 stage/45 stage mile event – winning by 14.9 seconds.
The experience of the stages helped as Osian stormed to ahead at the event, setting a blistering pace throughout, on the way to victory for the second time in 3 events, with title challenger Keith Cronin finishing in second place.
To read more of what Osian had to say at the event and for more details click through here.
Round 4 – 13 August – Grampian Forest Stages – Banchory
Round 4 consisted of 6 stages and 44.6 miles of forest rally routes. Making its debut on the 2021 calendar the Grampian Forest stages provided a great experience for both spectators and drivers as many were tackling the fast and flowing stage routes for the first time. This made the event as unpredictable as they come as one mistake could spell the end of the rally, and Osian couldn’t afford to let championship rival Keith Cronin gain any more points on him.
Despite every attempt by Osian to gain time over Cronin it simply wasn’t enough as Cronin showed why he is a 4-time BRC champion with stellar pace throughout. Cronin knew Osian is strong in Wales and so had to give it everything to try and edge further ahead in the championship standings.
Cronin stated “With the championship going to Wales next it is always going to be difficult to beat Osian at home, so it was really important to get out front and manage it from there. It’s our first BRC win on gravel in a while too, so it feels good.”
However, despite the second position, Osian didn’t lose any focus as he knew there were still 3 rounds to go, and anything can happen.
Round 5 – 3/4 September – Get Connected Rali Bae Ceredigion – Aberystwyth
Ceredigion played host to the fifth round of the BRC for the first time. It would be a challenging 85-mile event based in Aberystwyth on the Welsh coastline. 12 stages lay in wait for the drivers, from promenade special stages to night routes.
Osian didn’t get off to the best of starts and by the end of the first closed road moorland test Osian slipped to third largely due to boost issues in his Polo GTI, behind James Williams in the Hyundai and championship rival Keith Cronin. However, on the Devil’s Bridge stage on the final leg of the rally would see Cronin roll his car less than a mile into the stage, as a result he slipped out of the running for this event which pushed Osian up to 2nd.
Osian made the brave decision to opt for slicks on a damp (but drying) route, other competitors fell victim to the changeable conditions, but not Osian as the decision to use slicks proved fruitful as it catapulted him into the lead of the rally by over 30 seconds from Williams.
This win was needed as it put him back into solid contention for his maiden BRC title. He stated “I`m over the moon with that one”, “There is a number of people that could have taken the win this weekend to be honest but I’m really impressed with how everything has gone”.
Round 6 – 23/24 September – Trackrod Rally Yorkshire – Filey
Osian Pryce and Keith Cronin entered the 6th round with sights firmly placed on the title challenge. Both as keen as each other to grab a hold of the trophy.
The event started well for both drivers but after Osian took the lead in the night of the 11-mile Darby test by 5.2 seconds. He never looked back, setting a scorching pace through the Cropton, Gale Rigg and Staindale stages which saw him take a massive 28.5 second advantage over the rest of the field.
At this point only 2 stages separated Osian from his first championship title. After a colossal charge from Cronin where he clawed back over 8 seconds on his rival, he couldn’t match the pace of Osian and Noel, despite taking 2 fastest times over the final loop of the event. Osian took 4 victories out of 6 in the rally and took the title in style with 1 round remaining.
Osian joins an elite list of BRC champions which include the likes of Stig Blomqvist, current World Rally Championship Driver Elfyn Evans, and WRC champion Colin McRae.
“I have always wanted to have my name on that trophy.”
“It has been such a long process to make this happen and I have to say a huge thank you to everyone who has made this happen.”
“We have been patient, the hunger never faded so I’m so glad we persevered and kept at it.” Said Osian.
Round – 29 October – Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally – Llandudno
The final round of the 2022 British Rally Championship takes place in the seaside town of Llandudno, now Osian has wrapped up the title, he can just enjoy the final event and get even more experience to help him charge to the 2023 title.
Demon Tweeks couldn’t be more proud to support Osian and Noel this year in the BRC. We were able to give Osian the following to help him this year:
This suit allows you to design and create your very own custom race suit, complete with your choice of colours and sponsor logos and can be made to measure to your size. You can simply follow a step-by-step guide and create your own personalised suit for your requirements all while being FIA 8856-2018 approved.
OMP One S Race Boots
This high-tech race boot can be your go to for rallying or any other type of motorsport. Its leather construction and Nomex lining means its supple and comfortable while being FIA 8856-2018 approved with increased flame and heat protection.
These gloves offer the latest homologation FIA 8856-2018 regulation which requires high level heat and flame protection. Its also super comfortable with the linings on the outside and pre-curved fingers. The gloves offer very high levels of grip with silicon inserts on the palms.
The fireproof products from OMP are suited for professionals and amateurs alike, the gear Osian has been using is highly breathable, allowing hot air out and cool air in. These pieces of kit also reduce fatigue on the driver by reducing the pressure points throughout the garments. They also are all FIA 8856-2018 approved.
Specifically, Osian has used the following –
This helmet has been used by Osian in this years British Rally Championship as it is perfect for rallying with an integrated intercom system. It has been designed to provide high levels of safety and comfort for the user. It has a lightweight and strong carbon fibreglass composite shell. It also has an adjustable peak and a quick to remove half chin bar. This helmet FIA 8859-2015 & Snell SA2020 approved.
ZeroNoise Fearless Digital Intercom Amplifier
Developed in the WRC specifically for rally use. This intercom amplifier has a state-of-the-art digital processor which allows the user to select the level of noise compression and equalise the voice. It has an easy-to-read digital display and dual volume adjustment. Perfect for rallying.
ZeroNoise Professional Practice Headset
Developed in combination with Bell racing helmets, this headset is perfect for stage recce. It offers a noise cancelling microphone and flexible boom while providing excellent hearing protection with high efficiency speakers.
But Demon Tweeks doesn’t only cater to professional drivers competing in the British Rally Championship. We offer rallying and racing products for every type of motorsport from grass routes to professionals. Click through to have a look now! https://www.demon-tweeks.com/uk/
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