After his historic win in last year’s Wales Rally GB, Elfyn Evans will be confident of pulling off another fine home performance in this year’s race, according to Machynlleth rally driver, Osian Pryce.
Pryce will not be on the start line for this year’s rally, as he saves his funds for a tilt at the global rallying circuit next season.
The experienced racer, who has featured in several World Rally Championship events over the years, will however be in the Ralïo+ as the team bring daily highlights coverage from this year’s Wales Rally GB as well as live coverage from three stages.
Emyr Penlan and Llinos Lee will present coverage alongside studio guests, Osian Pryce and Gwyndaf Evans, former rally champion and father to Elfyn. Hana Medi will report on the race and interview the drivers, while Rhys ap Wiliam and Howard Davies will provide commentary.
Ahead of this year’s rally, we caught up with Osian to get his take on the event.
As a rally driver from Wales, how did you feel watching Elfyn win last year?
I’ve known Elfyn since I was very young, and we’re good friends. It’s something I’ll never forget to be honest, because I was there as part of the Ralïo+ team. Seeing one of my friends win, someone who I know has worked so hard to get to that point, was special. Of course, I’m trying to follow the same path that Elfyn has taken and I just need to keep going and hope that I’ll be where he is in a few years’ time.
Elfyn has had an up-and-down season in this year’s World Rally Championship. What will be his aim for this rally?
There’s more pressure on him to come back and win the rally again and people will be expecting him to win. That’s not always a good thing. He’s had a lot of misfortune this season, a lot of which hasn’t been his fault, but it is frustrating because there’s nothing you can do about it. Yes, he’s made the odd mistake and had a few tough rallies recently, but he’ll be determined to put that behind him in Wales Rally GB. He’s been there and done it so that will give him some confidence. He must aim to win it again, but a podium finish would be a good result too.
2010 was your first Wales Rally GB – what are your memories of the rally?
I was only 17 years old in my first Wales Rally GB in Cardiff. I was the youngest driver, but we managed to win our class by 28 minutes. That’s a memory that will stay with me because I didn’t know that I would go on to compete in another 15 WRC races – I thought that was the pinnacle. A lot of good and not so good things have happened since then, but I certainly won’t forget that rally.
It’s been a quiet season for you, but what are your plans for next year?
I’ve competed in a few Escort MKII rallies this year, just for fun really. Unfortunately, money is everything and I have several people and sponsors helping me, so I hope I can start again next year. I struggled to get a competitive budget last year, so I’ve had a quiet season this year and hopefully next season will be a good one.
Ralïo+ will be showing evening highlights from each day of this year’s rally, from Thursday, 4 October to Sunday, 7 October, as well as live coverage of three stages; the Dyfnant stage on Saturday, and the power stage, the Gwydir stage and the famous Great Orme stage on Sunday. On Monday, 8 October, Ralio will also be showing highlights from the other rallies taking place over the weekend, from the British Rally Championship and the National Rally.
Highlights every night during Wales Rally GB
Thursday, 4 October – Monday, 8 October
Live Stages – Saturday, 6 October and Sunday, 7 October
Available to watch on-demand at s4c.cymru, iPlayer and other platforms
A Tinopolis production for S4C