Osian Pryce won the Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy title after resisting a determined charge from Max Vatanen in the final round at RallyRACC Catalunya - Rally de España on Sunday.
Pryce topped the points heading into the four-day mixed surface event but an engine misfire sidelined the Welshman at the end of Friday’s opening leg to leave his title hopes seemingly in tatters.
Vatanen emerged as the new favourite but Pryce battled back up the order in the second half of the event, assisted by a string of retirements, to finish fifth and seal the title.
“We’ve been both unlucky and very lucky this weekend. It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster season with great battles with Max and we’re just over the moon to pull it off today,” said Pryce.
“We did the best we could all weekend and to be rewarded like this after many months and years of hard work is just a great feeling.”
Jon Armstrong led throughout the weekend to score his second win of the season. The Northern Irishman was the top points scorer over the final two rounds in Germany and Spain to win two prize drives in the 2017 WRC 2 category.
He headed Gus Greensmith by 51.8sec, the English driver bouncing back from broken steering in his Ford Fiesta R2 to claim his first podium of the season. Vatanen finished third, a further 5.5sec back, ahead of Jakub Brzezinski and Pryce rounding off the finishers.
Sunday’s final leg was the shortest of the event but took its toll on the Trophy competitors. Five drivers – Nicolas Ciamin, Karan Patel, Oscar Solberg, Guillaume de Mevius and Juuso Nordgren – all retired.