Builth Wells rally ace Jason Pritchard has won his third Asphalt Rally title in a row.

Jason Pritchard Wins Protyre Asphalt Rally Championship Title For A Third Time

By Paul Evans

Jason Pritchard has won the Protyre Motorsport UK Asphalt Rally Championship title for a third time in a row after scoring maximum points on the final round, the Ford Parts Cheviot Stages Rally.

The Builth Wells driver and co-driver Phil Clarke arrived in Otterburn lying third in the standings and with the one score to drop rule coming into play needed to finish in the top four to secure the title on Sunday.

After a great start, a rare mistake inside the North Road Garage Ford Focus WRC05 saw the car skid off the road at a T-junction on SS3. The car came perilously close to rolling over as it dug into the wet earth sideways, but instead continued with mud clogging the wheels and almost 20 seconds lost.

Despite brake issues towards the end of the longer stages Pritchard was inch perfect after that and in the drying conditions maintained a fast yet risk-free pace.

It’s his sixth title in as many years having also won the British Historic Rally Championship driving a Escort RS1800 Mk2 three times before his Protyre Asphalt hat-trick.

“Winning the Protyre Asphalt Championship took priority on the Cheviot, but we had to finish the rally and it was a case of judging how hard to push in the ever-changing conditions up on Otterburn,” said Pritchard.

“It certainly wasn’t easy.

“We had a slight off early on and we almost went over, so we knew that we couldn’t relax until we’d checked in to the final control.

“We’re very pleased to have achieved what we have. It probably won’t really sink in for a day or two, but to win three British Historic and three Protyre Asphalt rally titles is an awesome feeling.

“The question is what do we do next?”

Lee Edwards clinched both the class B11 and Ford Escort Challenge titles after an impressive drive in a borrowed blue Escort Mk2, after damaging his familiar orange CR M-Tech Motorsport / Auto Tech Ford Escort G3 on the PokerStars.

The windscreen wipers stopped working when he was caught in a heavy shower of rain on SS3, ironically the only time they were needed, but he and co-driver Will Atkins masterfully drove fast enough to secure both titles and carefully enough to give the car back without damage.

It had been a magnificent Protyre Asphalt debut season and their trophies were richly deserved – as the Brecon pilot also finished a fantastic fifth in the overall drivers’ standings and top two-wheel drive competitor.

It was also a good season for Llandysul’s William Mains who once again won the class B9 title in his giant-killing 1400cc Vauxhall Nova.

Bedlinog’s Mike Pugsley won the class B12 title for a third time in a row in his 1974 Escort Mk1 RS2000.

Brecon’s Sara Williams won the R3 title in her Renault Clio.

This year’s Protyre Asphalt Rally Championship will be one Damian Cole will want to forget.

The Abergavenny driver had hoped that a newly acquired Ford Fiesta R5+ will bring a change of fortune after a disappointing season in a Škoda Fabia R5, but he lost the brakes on the opening stage.

With almost a minute lost and two bumpy and twisty stages before service, he and Andrew Roughead retired the Get Connected/TCL-backed car on the spot.

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