Jason Pritchard
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17/11/2017 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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09/11/2017 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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05/10/2017 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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27/09/2017 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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22/09/2017 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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11/08/2017 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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28/04/2017 by admin

PRITCHARD HEADS TO CARLISLE 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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30/03/2017 by admin

PRITCHARD HEADS TO NORTH WALES IN CONFIDENT MOOD

Defending champion Jason Pritchard heads to the next round of the Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship in a confident mood after a second place finish in the opening round of the Championship he won for the second time last season.

Pritchard and co-driver Phil Clarke finished with vital championship points after a second place finish over the Red Kite Stages and the first round of the Championship in March.

The competition’s second stage will be held in Dolgellau, North Wales this Saturday (1st April) and the 28-year-old from Builth Wells is aiming to kick start his championship defence with a repeat of the victory he achieved on the same stages this time last year.

Pritchard will be setting off from Dolgellau on Saturday morning and heading out to complete the first few stages in the morning before returning for a quick service in Dolgellau and then heading back out for the final three frantic stages.

Rally North Wales is a hugely popular event in the motorsport diary and this year will be no different, Pritchard can’t wait to take to the forests on Saturday:

“I know the pace will be fast this weekend so I can’t afford to relax but my overall aim this year is to make sure I finish each event with points on the board, like everyone involved this year, we know this Championship is a long haul and anything can happen. “It was crucial that I finished the last round to get some points on the board and I was delighted to secure second position and start the Championship well. I was running first on the road so was losing time clearing the gravel and I overshot on the very first corner which knocked me slightly. “However I’m heading to North Wales in a very confident mood and mindsight, I finished in top-spot on these stages last season and I will be taking that performance and feeling into Saturday.”

Pritchard will be driving the Ford Escort MK2 again, the same car he won the Championship in last season, and like last season he will be joined by Phil Clarke as co-driver:

“I’m looking forward to getting back on these stages with Phil again as I really enjoyed being here last season and there are some classic stages for us to tackle in North Wales, it’s been a few weeks since the last event and that was the last time I sat in the car so I hope we can get into a good rhythm from the very first corner and set a fast pace from the start. “I’d like to thank my sponsors North Road Garage Builth Wells, Viking Motorsport, Sherwood Engines and Pirelli for their continued support.”

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05/10/2016 by admin

PRITCHARD WINS BACK-TO-BACK BRITISH HISTORIC RALLY CHAMPIONSHIPS

Jason Pritchard won his second 2016 Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship last weekend (30th September – 1st October) to become only the second driver to win back-to-back British Historic Rally Championships.

The 28-year-old and his co-driver Phil Clarke successfully defended the championship they won last year with a 4thplace finish on the Yorkshire forest stages during the last round of the Championship.

Pritchard and co-driver Phil Clarke got their season back on track with victory in the last round out in the Isle of Man and knew they would clinch the Championship with a finish in their Ford Escort Mk2 over the weekend.

Retaining the Championship was a long way from Pritchard’s mind when he failed to finish three rounds in a row after a perfect start, the Welshman won the first two rounds, but he always kept confident in his ability and car:

“With there being nine rounds, I knew it wasn’t impossible to still clinch the Championship after not finishing rounds three, four or five. We had made the perfect start winning the first two rounds and I had to try and regain this form after the three failed finishes. “I had the self-belief to keep going and aim for the top and having such a fantastic team around me was a huge factor in us managing to win the Championship for a second time.”

Pritchard had all sorts of problems in those failed finishes, hitting ice and sliding off the road in Carlisle (round three), getting stuck on the side of the road on the final corner in Radnor on the Seven Valley (round four) and he was comfortably leading the Harry Flatters rally on Epynt (round five) until his engine failed to leave him out of the race.

It was that moment on Epynt, when Pritchard felt at his lowest:

“I remember that moment so well, it was one of my lowest points in my rallying career. I walked back up the hill to try and find some phone reception and I remember just holding my head in my hands and wondering what I had to do to finish a rally. “However we went to round six and ended up finishing second and just three seconds of top spot, having finished the rally and being so close to victory allowed me to build up confidence and our victory in the double header out in the Isle of Man meant we were back in the running to clinch our second Championship in a row.”

Even though Pritchard and Clarke needed to just finish over the weekend to defend the title they won last year, Pritchard only had to look back on this event last year where the pair ended up off the road and out of the race to keep his mind focused on the task ahead:

“Going into the last round and knowing I only had to finish, should’ve made things easier but it turns out it was one of the hardest events I’ve faced. “I knew there was nothing to race for but there was so much to lose! I took a cautious approach but the memories of those failed finishes in previous rounds meant I had to keep a steady pace to ensure we got the car across the finish line. After the last stage and with 20 miles until the finish, both of us didn’t congratulate each other until we went over the ramp – anything can happen on that last leg, and I know from experience!”

Pritchard was incredibly thankful for the team around him and the continued support he receives from everyone involved in helping him achieve such fantastic results:

“I want to thank my sponsors for all the support they offer across the year: North Road Garage Builth Wells, FCS Laser Mail, Viking Motorsport, Pirelli, Sherwood Engines, Martin Jones Transmissions and Lively Race Graphics. “A special thank you to all the team at Viking Motorsport for supplying me with such a superb car, it was great to see them in person on Friday night and for their support. “My parents have always been 100% behind me in everything and I’m so grateful for the opportunity they give me to compete in the sport. Without them I wouldn’t be able to do this and also all the team that travel with me and keep the car going across these rallies – they are a talented crew and I would be lost without them. “I would also like to give Phil Clarke a special mention, he’s been sensational this year, through the good times and those bad times. It’s a joy to sit next to him in the car and we always believed in ourselves and believed we could clinch the title this year, it’s not just a pleasure having him as my co-driver but also an honour as I know there are many others competing who would love to have him but he always puts me first. Thank you Phil”

Pritchard is now already beginning to plan for 2017 and hopes to continue his fine form.

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02/10/2016 by admin

PRITCHARD VICTORIOUS IN ISLE OF MAN TO TAKE PRECIOUS CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS

The 2016 Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship had it’s only double-header of the season out in the Isle of Man last week (15th – 17th September) and the biggest winner of the weekend was 28-year-old Jason Pritchard, who took maximum Championship points across both rounds.

Pritchard and co-driver Phil Clarke got their season back on track with victory, which means the Championship will go all the way to the final round. Pritchard, the defending British Historic Champion, had suffered non-finishes in the previous three rounds but victory in the Isle of Man allows him to set up a final round showdown with his closest challenger, Paul Barret.

This double-header in the Isle of Man for the Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship was over 160 miles and is a huge test for drivers, co-drivers and crews, it was crucial for Pritchard to pick up some well needed Championship points and he was determined to get off to the best possible start:

“The last three rounds have been really disappointing but I know how quickly things can change in the world of rallying and I was determined to try and score well so we could try and challenge for the title. “We got off to the best possible start on Thursday evening, competing in darkness is always difficult but we were the quickest car after the second stage and that was a huge confidence boost for myself and Phil.”

After Ryan Barret experienced engine problems on the Friday, Pritchard edged in-front and he knew how important it was that he stayed there until the finish:

“I love competing out in the Isle of Man and I’ve had a number of successful visits to this famous home of motorsport. I tried to build on this previous success heading in to the event, rather than the non-finishes in earlier rounds, and it really did make a difference. “I knew it wasn’t going to be easy over the two and half days and it was up to me to try and claw back those Championship points and I’m delighted with how the event went. “We didn’t have any major issues, at one stage we decided to change the gearbox as a precaution, because it was such a fast and dry event so it was very hard on the gearbox when braking into junctions.”

Pritchard and co-driver Clarke topped the Holton Homes Category K in their Ford MK2 Escort and Pritchard was delighted with how the car performed:

“The car was fantastic and I want to say a special thank you to John at Viking Motorsport for all his excellent work in preparing the car for the event. He has over 40 years’ experience on these cars and he gave me the perfect tools to get the result I needed this weekend.”

Victory now sees Pritchard with a real chance to defend his crown when the final round heads to Yorkshire at the end of the month:

“We are back in with a chance of defending the title and I’ll be concentrating on trying to repeat this success in the next round. I have to thank the team and crew that were there helping me on the rally, who along with Phil were fantastic as always and a special thank you to my sponsors who are a huge help: North Road Garage Builth Wells, FCS Laser Mail, Pirelli and Viking Motorsport.”

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