Sunday | 22 May 2016

Pryce nets Trophy win after late twist

Osian Pryce won the opening round of the Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy at Vodafone Rally de Portugal on Sunday when local favourite Bernardo Sousa crashed out of the lead in the closing kilometres.

Portuguese driver Sousa led by more than a minute starting the final gravel road speed test, but his last-gasp mistake opened the door for Welshman Pryce to make a winning start to his first Trophy campaign in a Ford Fiesta R2T.
The 23-year-old finished 1min 45.1sec ahead of Finland’s Max Vatanen, who won the category 12 months ago and is embarking on his third season in the championship.
“It’s awesome to be top of the podium, I really didn’t expect it. It’s a bit of a shock because we were just trying to make it to the finish but then people were waving us down and there was Bernardo, standing at the side of the road. Commiserations to him, he drove really well,” said Pryce.
The rally was one to remember for 18-year-old Nicolas Ciamin, who was making his WRC debut in only his third rally. The Frenchman, the youngest driver in the Trophy, was rewarded for a cautious approach by clinching the final podium place.
A turbo boost problem and a puncture ruled Jon Armstrong out of serious contention but he finished fourth, with Dillon Van Way and Jakub Brzezinski completing the top six.
Britain’s Gus Greensmith was the early leader but a double puncture ended his hopes, while Oscar Solberg, son of WRC driver Henning and nephew of former world champion Petter, completed the finishers in seventh after rolling.

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