Jason Pritchard
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May 16, 2018 by admin

PRITCHARD BOUNCES BACK IN STYLE WITH VICTORY IN THE MANX NATIONAL RALLY

Jason Pritchard and co-driver Phil Clarke banished the disappointment of last year’s electric fault in true style last weekend (11th – 12th May) as they clinched top spot in this year’s Bet on Aces Manx National Rally.

As the event finished in glorious sunshine on the Saturday, Pritchard drove his North Road Garage Ford Focus WRC05 to victory number four out of six attempts on the Island, to further establish his excellent record in the Isle of Man.

The 29-year-old from Builth Wells was in pole position last year and leading by three minutes before an engine fault put a halt to his anticipated victory, this time round, there was no stopping the Welshman, as he bounced back to win the event he thrives in:

“I’m absolutely delighted to leave the Isle of Man as Manx National Rally winners; I can’t lie and say that last year’s electric fault with the car was on my mind at the start, especially as we were forced to miss the shakedown due to a small issue with the hydraulic system.

“However the car was in top form from the word go, capping off a wonderful weekend of rallying, we couldn’t be happier with how it went. We started the weekend by visiting a local primary school to answer questions and took along the car, we are always made to feel so welcome when we come over to the island, it’s always a great experience.”

Although the rally finished in the sunshine, it wasn’t the case on the Friday evening as the heavens decided to open and although this made Pritchard’s tyre choice easy, it certainly made the conditions a lot trickier to navigate:

“After failing to do the shakedown, the first stage was my chance to get used to the car and the speed of the event. Even with the torrential rain we managed to beat the bogey time by 4 seconds, this is the average speed for the stage and we were coming in quicker, so this gave me a huge confidence boost right from the start.”

From rain to thick fog, Pritchard kept pushing himself and the car, gradually extending his lead over the stages which were also repeated in the dark on Friday evening.

After last year’s winner went out during the first stage, with the same problem Pritchard experienced in 2017, the Welshman was the first car out so had to negotiate the water first and ahead of his rivals, which was now running across the road:

“The water was a challenge but I just kept my pace at a comfortable level and we managed to build up a lead of 1 minute 40 seconds overnight. I only ended up being beaten by 0.5 seconds on one stage throughout the day so I took these positives into the start of the second day.”

The next day there was still half the rally to tackle, so Pritchard couldn’t rest on his lead. The weather was a complete contrast on the Saturday with blue skies and sunshine:

“Going into the Saturday, we had a really good lead so we knew we just had to maintain it to finish in top spot. I didn’t change my approach behind the wheel and kept at a good pace with no risks, we ended up setting the fastest time on all eight stages on that final day, ending the rally in top spot with a lead of over three minutes.”

Victory after last year’s disappointment was a brilliant way for Pritchard to bounce back and he was grateful for the team around him and the support he receives which allows him to do this:

“Once the event started we didn’t have to touch the car, it was in fantastic form, big credit must go to the boys in the service for this. The only change was from wet tyres to dry tyres on the Saturday. As always, I have to say a massive thank you to Phil Clarke, all the hard work that he put in before the event certainly paid off, without him there’s no way I would have won this event four times.

“A big credit to the organisers as well for putting on such a professional event in some difficult conditions, a special thank you has to go to the marshals especially for the Friday night when they were all stood out in the pouring rain.”

“Thank you also to my parents Eian and Helen for giving me the opportunity to compete, I think the result was the birthday present my Dad was hoping for and finally but so crucial to my ability to compete, thank you to my sponsors for the rally: North Road Garage, Harkness competition tyres, Pirelli and Monaville Guesthouse”

Pritchard’s victory would have been seen by thousands across the world as the event was live streamed during both the stages and the service.

Winning in the Isle of Man for a fourth time now means that the Welshman now leads the Protyre MSA Asphalt Rally Championship, the next round is in Belgium on the 9th June

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May 4, 2018 by admin

PRITCHARD DETERMINED TO MAKE UP FOR 2017 SET-BACK

Three-time winner of the British Historic Rally Championship, Jason Pritchard, heads back to the Isle of Man next weekend (11th May – 12th May) determined to make up for last year’s disappointment as he looks to win on the island in this year’s MSA Asphalt Rally Championship.

Joined in his North Road Garage Ford Focus WRC05 by co-driver Phil Clarke, Pritchard will be sitting in the car for the first time since this event in 2017:

“I’ve enjoyed some amazing highs whilst driving on the Isle of Man and some serious lows, last year was a real disappointment but I’m 100% prepared to try and make amends over the two-day event. This rally is a real test for both crews and machine, I can’t wait to get back behind the wheel and to get going, I’m excited to see what we can do.”

Pritchard has enjoyed some great success on the island and became the first driver to win the Historic Rally Championship three years in a row (2014, 2015, 2016). However, he also knows how crucial it is to have luck on your side, in his debut event in 2013 he missed out on top spot by a matter of seconds after stalling at the start and in 2017 he had a 3 minute lead on the penultimate stage but an electrical fault forced the Welshman to stop for over six and half minutes. He was the fastest car out there on every stage apart from this, and this saw him finish 3rd when top spot looked destined to be his.

The 29-year-old from Builth Wells is looking forward to competiting in the darkness as the rally kicks off on the Friday evening this time round:

“I can’t wait for the Friday night stages, we don’t often get the chance to compete in the dark here in the UK, it’s an unusual but exciting challenge. I’m confident that myself and Phil can get a good recce under our belts and then it’s a case of committing to these notes.”

This year’s two-day Manx National Rally contains 130 stage miles spread over 16 special stages, in a compact route with only 120 road miles. The event begins with four separate stages – Creg-ny-Baa, Druidale, Knocksharry and Baldwins – ran twice on the Friday night, with competition continuing well past midnight.

Saturday contains another four stages – Keristal, Parville, St Mark’s and Balladoole – also ran twice. The longest stage of the event is Parville at 12.86 miles, followed by Knocksharry (12.08 miles) and Baldwins (11.34 miles).

As always, Pritchard is grateful to the support from his team and sponsors:

“I wouldn’t be able to compete without the team and support network around me, including my sponsors: North Road Garage, Harkness Competition Tyres, Pirelli and Monaville Guest House.”

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March 7, 2018 by admin

PRITCHARD BACK IN ACTION THIS WEEKEND IN EPYNT

MSA British Historic Rally Champion Jason Pritchard will compete in his first race of 2018 in the Protyre MSA Asphalt Rally Championship. 

The three-time British Historic Champion, the first time any driver has won three Historic Rally Championships in a row, will line up against a number of top drivers for the Port Talbot MC-organised Melvyn Evans Motorsport Tour of Epynt this Sunday (11th March).

The 29-year-old Welshman will compete in his Fiesta S2000 on Sunday in the first of a six round series across the UK and Europe, with the season-ending Keldine Autos Cheviot Stages Rally taking place on the Otterburn Army Ranges in Northumberland at the end of October.

Before that, the crews must face five other events, starting in Epynt in Wales on Sunday, before they head for the Isle of Man in Mid May for round two. Trips to Belgium for Rally van Wervik and Northern Ireland for the Carryduff Forklift Down Rally follow, before the penultimate round back in Wales and the Old Forge Garage Mewla Rally.

Designed to cater for everything from former World Rally- specification cars all the way down to lower powered two wheel drive machinery, the championship has seen a boost in entries ahead of 2018 and Pritchard can’t wait to get going:

“I can’t wait for Sunday, it’s certainly felt a very long time since the last RAC rally. It was another fantastic season for myself and Phil, we were delighted to win our third British Historic Championship and I want to try and keep that momentum going this Sunday in Epynt.

“I’m going to be driving the Fiesta on Sunday, I’ve only been behind the wheel once in the car so it will be a good chance for me to learn about the car and how it drives. I’m fully aware that I will be losing time across the faster sections, the Fiesta only has a top speed of 105mph compared to the 130pm plus that the WRC cars can achieve.

“I’m really looking forward to Sunday and also our next competition which is the Rally Costa Brava out in Spain, I haven’t chance to think about that much at the moment, it’s all about performing well on the Tour of Epynt and Sunday right now!
“Thanks as always to my sponsors: North Road Garage, FCS Lasermail, Harkness Competition Tyres and Pirelli.”

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November 17, 2017 by admin

BAD LUCK HALTS PRITCHARD’S IMPRESSIVE RAC CHALLENGE

The 2017 Roger Albert Clark Rally was firmly there for the taking last weekend but Jason Pritchard’s challenge was sadly and abruptly ended by a broken half shaft at the start of the Twiglees stage in Southern Scotland on Sunday and the third day of the epic rally.

Leading at the time, the Welshman’s rally was cut short whilst holding a 46 second lead over eventual winner, Marty McCormack, understandably it was this moment of bad luck that Pritchard had hoped he wouldn’t be talking about after the four-day rally:

“I’m so gutted to be talking about a broken half shaft and not what could have been, I loved every minute of the event and the challenge we faced. I felt confident from the word go and I really believe if I had managed to cross that finish line on Monday, it would’ve been as race winner.

“It was so close between myself and Marty on the Sunday, it was a proper battle and we were both driving so well. Unfortunately as I went into second gear off the line during stage 21, the half shaft broke and I lost drive. Credit to Marty as he was the first person to let my father and team know the news at the stage finish, saying his heart sank when he went past me.

“Marty drove so well and I want to congratulate him and the team on a fantastic drive and victory.”

The four-day event, which returned this year after a two-year hiatus, saw just under one hundred classic rally cars take on stages across England, Scotland and Wales in an attempt to relive the original RAC Rally from the 1970’s and 80’s.

Crews were faced with over 300 miles across 32 stages and Pritchard impressed from the word go and was always competing for top-spot:

“It was a great experience to be involved in a rally of this kind, over a number of days and over such a long distance. We started really well in Wales on day one and led after the first couple of stages, we finished up day one with a nine second lead.

“Running first car on the road day two was difficult as you have to clear the road of loose gravel and leave lines for others to follow, however it didn’t stop us from extending our lead by just under a minute at the end of the second day.

“It was really hard at the start of day 3 as the stages had frozen overnight and this did catch a number of drivers out, but again, we were setting the fastest times and still holding top-spot and we were leading up to stage 21 until the incident that forced us to retire.”

A total of 91 crews started from Brightwells in Leominster on Friday morning and a remarkable tally of 61 finished at Kielder Waterside on Monday afternoon. Even though Pritchard was one of those unlucky enough not to finish, he can still take a number of positives away from the event:

“I’m really proud of how the first three days went, to be leading at the time of retirement is still a fantastic achievement, especially as I’ve not driven on most of the stages and the conditions we faced along the way.

“I would like to thank the organisers and the marshals for putting on such a successful large event, there was a great atmosphere all weekend and it was well attended.

“Huge thanks as always to Phil on the notes, he always puts so much preparation into each event and I hope he knows that his effort doesn’t go unnoticed.

“I would like to thank the service crew for the hard work and long hours, Viking Motorsport for preparing the car and Sherwood Engines and Martin Jones Transmission for your continued support.

“And, finally, I want to send a big thank you to all of my sponsors who helped me compete in the rally, without them, I couldn’t have done it: North Road Garage Builth Wells, FCS Laser Mail, Professional MotorSport World Expo, Pirelli, Harkness Competition Tyres, Brian James Trailers, Leominster Car Auctions, Brace’s Bread and Brecon Motor club.”

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November 9, 2017 by admin

BHRC CHAMPION PRITCHARD BACK IN ACTION

The 2017 Roger Albert Clark Rally will make a return after a two-year hiatus this weekend (November 10th – 14th).

The entry list includes some world-class drivers and amongst them will be 2017 British Historic Rally Champion Jason Pritchard, who famously won the title for the third year in a row in September.

The Welshman will be joined by Phil Clarke, in his Ford Escort, and is set to go up against a host of quality drivers including British Rally Championship driver Martin McCormack and the most successful man in the history of the Roger Albert Clark Rally, Steve Bannister.

The four-day event, which returns in 2017, sees over one hundred classic rally cars take on stages across the England, Scotland and Wales in an attempt to relive the original RAC Rally from the 1970’s and 80’s.

Three hundred miles over 32 stages lie ahead for the crews, with drivers confirmed from around Europe to contest the event.

After beginning in Wales on Friday, the crews head to Kielder Forest in the north of England for a range of stages in and around the largest man-made forest in Europe and is known in the rallying world as ‘Killer Kielder’ after its habit of causing a high retirement rate when drivers compete there. Sunday is spent in Scotland before any surviving drivers head for another round in Kielder on Mondayafternoon and the finish line, according to Pritchard, whoever can make it to Monday will be deserved winners:

“This will be the longest rally in the UK since 1995 and I’m nervous but equally just as excited to get going, who ever makes it to Monday and crosses the finish line first, then hats off to the guys in the car but also the crew, it’s going to be some test!

“The event will be an endurance test for not only the drivers but also the machines. With early starts and late finishes it’s going back to the good old days of the late 70’s with the event moving to different locations each day.

“Everything has been checked and double checked on the car, so there is nothing else we can do, it’s now up to myself and Phil to perform over the weekend and see how we go!

“Big thank you to everyone who’s helped me compete this weekend, my parents for giving me the opportunity to compete in the sport that I love, Viking Motorsport for preparing the car, Sherwood Engines and Martin Jones Transmissions for their valued support.

“My sponsors North Road Garage Builth Wells, FCS Laser Mail, Leominster Car Auctions, Brian James Trailers, Brace’s Bakery, Harkness Competition Tyres, Pirelli and Brecon Motor club.

“I can’t them all enough and also the team that travel out with me for all their continued support and guidance over the rounds. I can’t wait to get going!”

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October 5, 2017 by admin

PRITCHARD CREATES RALLYING HISTORY

Jason Pritchard made history on Saturday by becoming the first driver to win a hat-trick of successive MSA British Historic Rally Championship titles.

The 29-year-old Welshman, alongside co-driver Phil Clarke did enough over the weekend to be crowned champions for the third year in a row.

Pritchard was three points ahead of closest rival Nick Elliot before the final rally of the Championship in Yorkshire and after Elliot span out on the Gale Rigg stage, Pritchard knew it was a matter of keeping his concentration in the final stages to ensure he would stay top of the pile in the Championship decider:

“First of all, I would like to pay tribute to Nick and Dave for a fantastic battle. It really was a straight fight between the two of us and I think its credit to us both that it ended up being so close. The pace out there was electric!

“I can’t quite believe that I’ve won the Championship for a third time, I don’t think it will sink in for a while. We’ve made history and I’m so proud with what I’ve achieved.

“Nobody has ever managed to win the British Historic Rally Championship title three years in a row and myself and Phil have now done it – I’m absolutely delighted!”

The Championship was set up for one of the most exciting finishes to a season after Pritchard stylishly clinched victory in the Isle of Man and in doing so, set up the winner-takes-all finale on the Trackrod Rally Yorkshire.

The weekend started well for Pritchard as he successfully navigated his way through the first 10-mile stage on the Friday evening:

“The weather was terrible on Friday night, there was a lot of rain falling throughout the day so it was muddy and very slippy. We were aqua plaining for most of the stage! To be honest, I wasn’t feeling that good with how it went, but we went to bed on Friday night 0.8 seconds ahead of Nick, so it was the start we had hoped for.

“We were running about one minute behind on the Saturday and during the 4th stage, we drove past Nick and Dave and saw that they had ended up in a ditch.

“It was crucial that we kept our minds on the job and we didn’t even dare think about the title or congratulate each other. Phil kept telling me to concentrate and that’s exactly what I did! We kept the car in the middle of the road and the pace was good.”

Pritchard’s title hopes looked doomed during the early stages of the Championship, a run of bad luck and non-finishes meant it looked impossible for him to retain the title he won in 2015 and 2016.

However, since round five, Pritchard and Clarke have won every round and his impressive victory in the Isle of Man over a double-round weekend gave him every chance to complete the hat-trick and in doing so, make rallying history.

“I honestly thought the title was out of my reach in the early rounds, however we’ve not looked back since winning the Harry Flatters stages in July and I’m just thrilled to bits with what we’ve achieved.

“I’m lucky to have such a fantastic team around me and this title is dedicated to them, sitting next to Phil is a privilege and he puts in so much time and hard work in making sure we get the results we get, thank you Phil.

“I also want to mention my Mum and Dad (Helen and Eian Pritchard) without their support, none of this would be possible, they do so much for me and are fantastic.

“The boys who are by my side each weekend are second-to-none and again, this title wouldn’t be possible without having their backing and enthusiasm.

“Viking Motorsport have once again prepared and delivered a world class car, a world class car that has now won the British Historic Rally Championship three times in row!

“And, a special mention to my sponsors: North Road Garage Builth Wells, Harkness Competition Tyres and Monaville Guesthouse”.

Next up for Pritchard and Clarke is the RAC rally over the 10th – 14th November. This is the longest rally in the UK since 1990, starting in Wales and then finishing in Carlisle.

“We can’t wait for the RAC, it attracts some great drivers and also support, we are actively seeking sponsorship, so if anyone is interested, please do get in touch!”

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September 27, 2017 by admin

TITLE DECIDER IN YORKSHIRE UP NEXT FOR PRITCHARD

The final round of the 2017 Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship takes place this weekend (29th and 30th September) and the race for top spot couldn’t be closer.

Welshman Jason Pritchard leads second placed Nick Elliot by three points and is on the verge of becoming the first driver in the Championship’s history to win the title three times in a row.

Pritchard is fully aware of the feat he faces, alongside co-driver Phil Clarke, but the 29-year-old from Builth Wells won’t allow the thought of a hat-trick to impact his preparation and performance this weekend:

“Nobody has ever managed to win the British Historic Rally Championship title three years in a row and I would be lying if it wasn’t my aim to change that statistic this weekend.

“However, I know the calibre of the drivers I’m facing, and I know I need to be at my best to make it happen, that’s what’s great about rallying, you can’t afford to drop back and relax, it’s a constant pressure and it’s something I thrive on.

“I know it’s a very tall order and it’ll be extremely difficult over the two days in Yorkshire but I can only do my best and what will be will be.”

The Championship is set up for one of the most exciting finishes to a season after Pritchard stylishly clinched victory in the Isle of Man and in doing so, setting up the winner-takes-all final round on the Trackrod Rally Yorkshire this weekend.

Pritchard will begin the first stages on Friday evening, with a testing 10 miles in darkness, a challenge for all involved, before finishing off the final crucial stages of the Championship on Saturday, with 45 miles of gravel stages in the Yorkshire Forests:

“I have competed on this rally a few times in the past and had a mixture of good luck and bad. Both when I was competing in the BRC and more recently in the BHRC. With this weekend being the title decider I know what I need to do how I need to do it.

“Going back to gravel will be tough and the stages in Yorkshire offer a different test to those in Wales and out in the Isle of Man. The gravel is a lot finer, with very high speeds.

“My preparation for the race won’t be any different and I will be going out there to do my own thing, and we will have a run in the car this week as I haven’t driven on gravel since June”

Pritchard is on the verge of making history and as always, is grateful to the team and sponsors that allow him the opportunity to compete for the title:

“Everything has been checked and double checked on the car, so there is nothing else we can do, it’s now up to myself and Phil to perform over the weekend and get the job done.

“Again I’d like to thank Viking Motorsport for preparing the car, North Road Garage Builth Wells, Harkness Competition Tyres and Martin Jones Transmissions and Sherwood engines for checking their respected components on the car, offering me the best possible chance to retain the title.”

“I can’t thank my family and the team that travel out with me enough for all their continued support and guidance over the rounds.  I can’t wait to get going!”

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September 22, 2017 by admin

PRITCHARD KEEPS THE HAT-TRICK DREAM ALIVE

The 2017 Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship is set up for one of the most exciting finishes to a season as Jason Pritchard stylishly clinched victory in the Isle of Man last weekend (14th – 16th September). Victory over the three day rally sets up a winner-takes-it all final round in Yorkshire at the end of the month.

Pritchard and opposition rally crews competed over 160 miles of some of Europe’s finest asphalt rallying and the Welshman was delighted to come out on top and is now back on track to be the first driver to win the British Historic Rally Championship three times in a row:

“I love rallying in the Isle of Man and I’ve been lucky enough to have had some great success on the famous island so I was confident heading into the double-header over the two days, but not complacent.

“With two rounds of points available it’s crucial to make sure you score as many points as possible so I’m delighted to have achieved maximum points across the two rounds.”

Pritchard’s quest to retain the title he and co-driver Phil Clarke have won over the past two years relied heavily on this weekend and he didn’t fail to deliver.

Across the weekend there were a number of stages that ran in the dark, which added another challenge to this Historic event, along with some unexpected downpours:

“I always seem to struggle on the first stage but this time was different, I posted the fastest time on the Historic stage which gave me such a confidence boost, to start well was so crucial and it couldn’t have gone better.

“Stage two was hard, the heavens really did open and I don’t think I’ve experience rain like it whilst rallying. I was just glad to finish the stage unscathed!

“Each stage had its problems but each time, I kept delivering what myself and Phil wanted and we kept our noses in front over both rounds, with no dramas on the final day, it was such an amazing feeling to know we had completed the double and given ourselves the best possible chance of retaining the title.”

The formidable duo of Pritchard and Clarke won the Rally Isle of Man Classicagh for the second year in a row and their overall time would have put them inside the top 10 against the modern British Championship Cars.

Pritchard now faces the real possibility of a record-breaking British Historic Rally Championship hat-trick and is three points ahead of nearest Elliot in the Championship:

“It would be a dream to clinch a third title but it’s going to be a tough weekend in Yorkshire at the end of the month, I’m up against some world-class drivers so I just need to concentrate on doing my job and my job only.

“Viking Motorsport did a fantastic job in preparing the car for me and as always, I would like to thank my sponsors: North Road Garage Builth Wells, Harkness Competition Tyres, Pirelli, Viking Motorsport, Sherwood Engines, Martin Jones Transmission and Monaville Guesthouse.

“I wouldn’t be able to do this without them, or my family and the guys working on the car for me during the service. A special mention also to the organisers and marshals who always put on a great event out here and had to put up with some tricky weather conditions!”

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September 11, 2017 by admin

“I CAN’T WAIT TO GET OUT THERE AND GIVE IT MY BEST”

The 2017 Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship heads to the Isle of Man for its only double-header of the season this weekend (14th – 16th September).

Pritchard and opposition rally crews heading out for the weekend will tackle 160 miles of some of Europe’s finest asphalt rallying. 

It’s rallying at its best, on closed public roads between Thursday evening and Saturday afternoon. 

This double-header for the Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship is crucial in Pritchard’s quest to retain the title he and co-driver Phil Clarke won last year. There are a number of the stages that run in the dark, which adds another challenge to this Historic event on the famous motoring island. 

With so many points available over the weekend, Pritchard knows the importance of finishing on Saturday:

 “The event attracts a number of Historic tarmac experts so we know that the pace will be extremely fast on these demanding tarmac roads.

“It’s such a long event that you need to concentrate more than usual, there’s pressure on the car as well, it’s crucial that you last the distance and you drive with your head and a hint of calmness , it’s not a 45 mile sprint like most of the Championship rounds.”

Pritchard’s experienced the highs and lows that rallying offers this season but he’s not dwelling on the bad luck which has impacted his defence of the Championship:

“Myself and Phil know we are on the back foot in regards to the winning the Championship, however victory in the last round on Epynt was just what we needed, I’m going out to the Isle of Man in a confident mood and looking forward to a testing rally.

“We need to go out there and do our own thing, I’ve got faith in my driving and of course the car, I want to enjoy each stage and see where it takes me.

“We have both competed in the Isle of Man on a number of occasions and had some great success along the way, I’m hoping for the same this weekend. Knowledge of the stages is often helpful but when the helmet is on and I’m behind the wheel, I need to listen and trust Phil and the notes we’ve made the previous days.

“I can’t wait to get out there and give it my best, that’s all I can do.”

This round of the British Historic Rally Championship includes 21 stages over 160 miles. The first round starts at 3pm on Thursday, with the rally due to finish at 4pm on Saturday.

Pritchard is keen to impress and was grateful to the team behind the car and also his service team and sponsors who’ve supported him across the Championship this year:

 “Viking Motorsport have done another fantastic job in preparing the car for me, I know that nothing more can be done in regards to the car, and as always, I would like to thank my sponsors: North Road Garage Builth Wells, Harkness Competition Tyres, Pirelli, FCS Laser Mail, Viking Motorsport, Sherwood Engines and Martin Jones Transmission.

“I would also like to welcome a new sponsor for this rally, Monaville Guesthouse. Without the support from my sponsors, the team who join me at each event and of course my family, I simply wouldn’t be able to compete, so thank you.”

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April 28, 2017 by admin

PRITCHARD HEADS TO CARLISE WITH VICTORY FIRMLY ON HIS MIND

Jason Pritchard is hoping to kick-start his defence of the Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship and improve on his two second-place finishes in round one and round two, as round three of the competition he’s won two years in a row heads to Carlisle this Saturday (29th April).

The Pirelli Carlisle Rally will host the third round of the British Historic Rally Championship and offers drivers the challenge of four special stages of 45 miles – making use of the best stages from the famous Kielder Forest.

Pritchard and co-driver Phil Clarke have started their season in a solid fashion and the 28-year-old from Builth Wells is looking to try and finish one place better this weekend, although after failing to finish the event the past two years, he’s understandably cautious heading into the rally:

“I can’t wait to get going in Carlisle and I’m heading there to try and win, it’s a short and sharp event with long stages, so a good clean run is a must and having viewed the safety DVD, the stages look like they will be extremely high speed this weekend.”

Pritchard knows how testing the stages will be in Kielder and is preparing for another tough rally:

“Based in the Kielder forests, it’s got the nickname ‘Killer Kiedler’ and I only know this too well, having failed to make the finish the past two years, however I’m hoping for a change of fortunes this year!

“The event has a fierce reputation, and not without good reason – the stages are always sharp and a real test for everyone involved. The stages tend to be rough so it’s very easy to damage the car but even easier to find one of the big ditches that line the stages!

“My aim for this weekend will be to ensure I finish and if I can pick up some decent championship points along the way, then I’ll be delighted.”

Pritchard’s shown he can handle the challenge of being up on the pace, especially after his victory in the Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship last year and his last two second-place finishes this season are testament to not only his skill behind the wheel but also his ability to deliver under pressure:

“I know that the pace at the front will be hot on Saturday, so even getting good Championship points will be hard but I’ll be aiming for top spot this weekend. The last event in North Wales was the first time I’ve been in the car and was unable to find a good rhythm.

“I tried changing my driving styles during the stages but nothing came off for me, every time I pushed harder we had a moment of worry so I decided to just get the car home and get seat time.

“All of my main rivals now test their car before each rally so having failed to get confidence in the car last time out we recently did a test and straight away the feeling was there.

“Hopefully I can carry this into Saturday and really kick start the defence of my Championship in style!”

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