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SPENCER SPORT


 

 

PRESS RELEASE: 22nd May 2017

Osian Pryce and Spencer Sport continue podium run with second place in Scotland

For the third time in as many events - driving the Spencer Sport prepared Ford Fiesta R5 - Osian Pryce and co-driver Dale Furniss scored a podium finish on a round of the 2017 Prestone MSA British Rally Championship. Their second place on this weekend's RSAC Scottish Rally added to the third and second places scored already this season and as such, places them second in the championship standings, just four points off the lead.

In the Spencer Sport-run Fiesta R2, 19-year old James Williams drove his best British Rally Championship event to date, although 6th place in the Junior category didn't realistically reflect his efforts. He was accompanied in Scotland by experienced co-driver Dai Roberts who made his debut with the team.

The third round of the British Rally Championship was centered around its service area near Lockerbie. The competitive element of the event featured 75 miles, split into two stages on Friday evening and a further eight stages during Saturday, in the neighbouring Ae and Eskdalemuir forests.

Cars were flagged away at a ceremonial start in the centre of Dumfries before tackling the first pair of stages - a double-run over an 8.8-mile stretch of road named Mount Joe. The rocky gravel surface was to catch out a number of competitors and unfortunately, Osian and Dale were one of those who suffered a puncture; theirs' just three miles into SS2, which forced them to drive the remaining five miles with a flat rear tyre. With around 20-seconds lost, the Welshmen checked in for the overnight halt in fifth place and whilst deflated with the circumstances, were fired up to fight back the following day.

Whilst the road surface for the Saturday stages was a little smoother, the rain and intermittent downpours made for unpredictable conditions and varying amounts of grip. Even so, the first two stages saw Osian and Dale's determination pay off, as they had moved up to third as they pulled in to the first service halt of the day.

They were now just over 30-seconds behind the leaders, Fredrik Ählin (the winner of the first two rounds) and local driver David Bogie. Realising that it would be difficult to make up the deficit, the Spencer Sport pair instead focussed on their own battle for third with Martin McCormack and Keith Cronin.

At times there were just fractions of seconds separating the battling trio, Osian and Dale doing just enough to stay ahead of McCormack and Cronin, surviving an issue with the heated front screen on stage five followed by a second puncture on stage eight. Consequently, with the last loop of two stages to go, Osian and Dale were 51 seconds behind the leading pair and nine seconds ahead of Cronin in fourth, their position suggesting that, if everything went well third place was there for the taking.

The Welsh pair did all they could to retain the position and went on to set the fastest time through final stage. SS10 was also dramatic for Ählin, but for all the wrong reasons, and when the Swede had to stop due to a broken radiator, Osian and Dale were perfectly placed to claim the runners-up spot behind Bogie and ahead of McCormack.

"This has been such a tough rally. We're very happy to get to the finish and to secure another podium place is fantastic for us", said Osian. "Although we want to win every rally, knowing what the stages can be like we came here with the championship in mind, so to be four points off the lead is just what we were hoping for.

"I'm pleased with what we've achieved both on this rally and from the first half of the season and the bigger picture is looking good. Other than the punctures and a small issue with the screen, the car ran perfectly and the Spencer Sport team has done another great job this weekend."

Teammates James and Dai also suffered from the event's rocky surface and on Friday evening and were disappointed to have collected two front punctures on SS2. Having climbed back to 4th in class on Saturday morning, it appeared that every time they posted an impressive stage time, they were pushed back by an issue, including another three punctures! Consequently, they were delighted to make it to the finish as 6th Junior British Rally Championship crew and 15th overall.

James' never-give-up attitude coupled with a series of top-three class stage times and the guidance of his knowledgeable co-driver, led to his most impressive BRC performance yet: "It's been a challenging event, but a fantastic experience. There were some frustrations - especially with the punctures - but overall I was pleased with our pace and that we kept out of trouble. Once again, the car ran perfectly and I have to thank the team for their efforts and support."

The fourth round of the British Rally Championship sees the surface change from gravel to asphalt, when competitors head overseas for the Ypres Rally. This two-day Belgium classic takes place on 23rd & 24th June and features the infamously demanding stages in the West Flanders region.

The team would to thank its partners for their support: Spencer ECA, DMACK Tyres, Motul, Hills Ford, Alphera Financial Services, Oil4 Wales, Nicky Grist Motorsports, PIAA UK, Speedline Corse UK, Atech Racing,United Air Power, HT Installations, West Wales Rally Sparesand Porter Dodson Solicitors.

Team information

Ford Fiesta R5:
Driver: Osian Pryce is from Machynlleth
Co-driver: Dale Furniss is from Llanfyllin

Ford Fiesta R2:
Driver: James Williams is from Newcastle Emlyn
Co-driver: Dai Roberts is from Carmarthen

 

 

PRESS RELEASE: 8th May 2017

Spencer Sport proves performance of 2017 specification Mitsubishi Mirage on Manx National

If ever there was proof that the latest R5 specification Mitsubishi Mirage is a competitive package, then the performance of the Spencer Sport cars in the Manx National Rally this weekend clearly demonstrated that fact. Having ended the first leg of the event second overall against rivals in WRC machinery, Jamie Jukes and Dave Williams were all set for a podium finish until they retired after an accident on the second day.

Defying the fact that it was their debut in their brand new Mirage, teammates Philip Hopkins and David Jenkins had a trouble-free run to finish a credible 9th overall.

Having undergone a programme of development since the end of last season, the R5-specification Mirage has benefitted from a series of small, but effective updates and, for the Spencer Sport team, the Manx National Rally marked the first outing for the latest version of the Mitsubishi. Driving an R5 specification car, Jamie and Dave were seeded at #9 and, when they left the start-line at the Douglas TT Grandstand on Friday evening, they were looking forward to see how competitive the car would be up against the more powerful entries around them.

Their uncertainty was soon set aside when they posted the third-fastest time overall through the first of the evening’s six stages. After a notional time was allocated when stage two was temporarily stopped, Friday’s remaining four stages saw Jamie and Dave record three third-fastest and one fifth-fastest time. Consequently, they headed back to the island’s capital for the overnight halt occupying second place.

With continued fine weather and Jamie feeling confident with the Mirage, he and Dave set off on the first of Saturday’s six stages determined to lay down a marker and consolidate their position, whilst be ready to take advantage if anything was to happen to the leader. But ironically, it was they who suffered a problem after landing awkwardly after a jump, the car spun down the road and bounced off the surrounding banks.

Whilst both crew members emerged from the incident unscathed, it was clear from the bodywork and suspension damage that the Mirage was going no further.

“It had all gone exceptionally well up until then”, explained Jamie. “Apparently it’s a jump that has caught out a lot of people in the past and now my name’s added to the list, together with Colin McRae and Ari Vatanen.”

Commenting about his car, Jamie said: “The new spec Mirage is so drivable. It’s by far the best rally car I’ve ever driven and I’m impressed it’s so competitive in R5 specification.”

After a carefully considered start, whilst they acclimatised themselves to their brand new Hopkins Motorsport liveried Mirage, Philip and David quickly gained confidence. At the halfway point on Friday evening, they had improved on their seeding by seven positions, which meant they started Saturday’s leg in 12th place.

An impressive run in the morning saw them rise as high as sixth after SS10, but after a clipping a kerb at a hairpin they opted to stay out of trouble for the remainder of the event and crossed the finishing line in Douglas that evening extremely satisfied to have finished 9th overall.

“I’m very happy with how things went this weekend”, said Philip. “The Mirage is a fantastic car to drive and it never missed a beat throughout the event. Even when we clipped the kerb quite hard, the suspension didn’t move!

“Being our first event in this car and with it in R5 specification, I didn’t think we would do so well. So to be on the pace of others in the top ten with more powerful cars was great. In fact, Jamie really showed what the car is capable of during the first half of the event.”

As it transpired, R5 specification cars did exceptionally well on this rally, with the eventual winners Hugh Hunter and Rob Fagg finishing ahead of the field in their Ford Fiesta R5.

The Spencer Sport team was supported on the Isle of Man by: Spencer ECA, Motul, Speedline Corse UK, Nicky Grist Motorsports, Oil 4 Wales, PIAA UK and Atech Racing.

 

 

PRESS RELEASE: 3rd April 2017

Perfect day for Pryce and Spencer Sport

Six fastest times on all of the event's six stages and the consequential convincing victory provided the perfect outcome for Osian Pryce and co-driver Dale Furniss driving the Spencer Sport Fiesta R5 on Saturday's Rally North Wales. Seeded at number one, it was clear from the start that the pairing from Machynlleth and Llanfyllin respectively, would be the crew to beat on their home event.

Even after finishing on the podium two weeks previously at the Border Counties Rally, it was decided that Osian and Dale should enter this Dolgellau-based event in order to gain additional seat time and to become more familiar with the Spencer Sport prepared Fiesta in their bid to win this year's Prestone MSA British Rally Championship title. Osian added that it had been his aim to contest his most local rally with number one on the door - and to try to win it too!

With weather in the Gartheiniog and Dyfi woodlands more in keeping with conditions usually found in a monsoon-struck tropical rain forest - but without the equatorial temperatures - the first of the day's six stages was a challenge, especially for Welsh pair as they were first car on the road. Although they were cutting the tracks for the following crews, their advanced position did nothing to stem their pace and they emerged from SS1 with an impressive 19-second lead.

As conditions eased slightly, they extended their advantage over the next two stages in the Dyfi Forest to lead by 52 seconds when they arrived at the half-way service halt. For the Spencer Sport team there was little servicing to do and a check-over, top up of fuel and a quick wash was all the car required.

The earlier rain coupled with the 100+ field having been through the stages on their first run had, according to Osian, the effect of 'polishing' the surface of the forestry roads. Even so, he and Dale's trio of fastest stage times earlier was repeated by another. The upshot of this perfect performance provided Osian, Dale and the Spencer Sport team with a winning margin of 1m 13s.

Following the rally Osian said: "This has been a perfect day for us. It's great to have won my home rally. It feels like it's been a long time coming! After a couple of small tweaks to the car's set up before the event, it felt fantastic to drive and never missed a beat. I even enjoyed being first on the road.

"The DMACK Tyres worked well in all conditions. In fact, we only used one set all day, which shows how well they stayed in spec. After a day like this I feel more confident with the car than I did a couple of weeks ago. However, I know there's even more to come, which is very encouraging and sets us up well for the second round of the British Rally Championship, the Pirelli Rally at the end of the month."

Teammates James Williams and Dale Bowen in the Spencer Sport run R2 Fiesta - also taking part in Rally North Wales in order to gain more experience in between BRC rounds - drove an excellent first stage that saw them gain 14 places on their seeding and placed second in class. However, they were caught out by the tricky conditions in stage two and slid off the road in a particularly boggy spot.

Their lengthy delay meant they were out of the running in terms of results, but a determined drive for the remainder of the rally saw them regularly post top-three stage times in their class. Even with a concern about a slight loss of power, they took many positives away from the event in doing so, were pleased with the experience and renewed their driver/co-driver partnership from last year's Rally Isle of Man in the process.

The team would to thank its partners for their support: Spencer ECA, DMACK Tyres, Hills Ford, Alphera Financial Services, Nicky Grist Motorsports, PIAA UK, Speedline Corse UK, Atech Racing, Oil 4 Wales, HT Installations, Porter Dodson LLP and West Wales Rally Spares.

Photo: JMS Photographic

 

 

PRESS RELEASE: 20th March 2017

Spencer Sport kicks off season with a podium result

A podium finish on the opening round of the 2017 Prestone MSA British Rally Championship - Friday and Saturday's (17th & 18th March) Brick & Steel Border Counties Rally - was the start to the season that the Spencer Sport Rally Team was looking for, when Osian Pryce and his co-driver Dale Furniss battled their way up the leader board during Saturday's stages to claim third place in the team's R5 Fiesta.

Teammates James Williams and Phil Hall driving an R2 category Fiesta are chasing the British Junior title this year, but after a promising start, their debut at this level of competition was cut short on Saturday morning.

Starting and finishing in the historic Borders town of Jedburgh, the competition got underway on Friday evening with two stages in Craik Forest. New to their Spencer Sport prepared car, Osian and Dale opted for a cautious start, but even so, set the fifth fastest time.

The second run though the same 6.33-mile stage proved to be a frustrating experience however, when last year's WRC Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy Champions suffered a puncture. They chose to continue for the remaining four miles to the finish and consequently, lost 40 seconds in the process - a delay that meant they were placed seventh at the overnight halt.

Coincidentally and equally as frustrating, James and Phil picked up a puncture at the same spot, but with just two-wheel-drive at their disposal, they opted to stop and change the wheel, thereby adding around five minutes to their stage time and ending their day eighth in class.

Saturday was to see a further seven stages in Forests to the south and west of Jedburgh. In the slippery and challenging conditions, the relatively clean run through the opening stage by Osian and Dale was just what was needed and, as others faltered, they emerged from SS3 in fourth place.

Resigned to the fact they were unlikely to be standing on the junior podium later in the day, James and Phil were to regard Saturday as a learning exercise. However, their period of education did not reach its full term and another puncture on stage three was shortly followed by a slide off the road and onto a tree stump where the Fiesta became terminally lodged.

For Osian and Dale, a second puncture and a broken suspension arm after hitting a rock on the racing line in stage six did little to assist their progress, but with the same solid obstruction causing Scot David Bogie - who was running ahead of them - leave the road and retire, it meant that the two Welshman were elevated to third by the end of the stage.

Fortunately a service halt followed, where the car was quickly restored to its former specification by the Spencer Sport team. Throughout the final loop of three stages Osian and Dale gathered pace, so much so, they set the fastest time on stage eight and in doing so, closed the gap on the two cars ahead of them: fellow Welshman Tom Cave in second and Swedish driver Fredrik Ahlin first.

Taking into account the wet and slippery conditions and with it the first event in the Spencer Sport Fiesta R5 for Osian and Dale, the team were more than satisfied with the outcome. At the finish in Jedburgh, Osian said:

"I'm very happy to have finished on the podium, especially after our second stage puncture. It's a great start to our BRC campaign.

"It wasn't the easiest rally for us, and 80% of the time I was getting to grips with the car and the weak link in the chain was the man behind the wheel! The Spencer Sport Fiesta is the best car I've ever driven and what I need to do now is make sure I get the best out of it. I was getting quicker mile-by-mile and I was very pleased to have taken a fastest time by the end of the event."

The next outing for Osian, Dale, James and Phil will be round two of the Prestone MSA British Rally Championship - the Pirelli Rally that takes place on 29th & 30th April.

The team would to thank its partners for their support: Spencer ECA, DMACK Tyres, Hills Ford, Alphera Financial Services, Nicky Grist Motorsports, PIAA UK, Speedline Corse, Atech Racing, Oil 4 Wales, HT Installations, Porter Dodson, Omega Lubricants and West Wales Rally Spares. Thanks also goes to Craig Motors in Hawick for their help before the event.

 

 

PRESS RELEASE: 15th March 2017

Spencer Sport announces 2017 BRC programme

The Spencer Sport rally team is pleased to announce that it will run two cars in this year’s Prestone MSA British Rally Championship.

Battling for overall honours in a Ford Fiesta R5 will be 2016 Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy Champions Osian Pryce and co-driver Dale Furniss. Joining them to compete for the BRC Junior Championship title will be James Williams and Phil Hall, who will campaign a Ford Fiesta R2.

Following a successful year for Spencer Sport, when it finished second in 2016 in its first ever season in Britain’s premier rally series, the bar has been set high. However, with the line up is has this year the team is confident it can continue to run at the front of the field and mount an attack on both the overall and Junior titles:

“Having a year in the BRC under out belts, we start this season with all that experience behind us”, explains team principal Charlie Jukes.

“We achieved a 100% finishing record with our R5 Fiesta last year, so if we can maintain that level of consistency and reliability this season, with the drivers and co-drivers we have, I believe we have an excellent chance of scoring podium results in both classes on each round and at the end of the season.”

Having previously worked with Spencer Sport as a test driver and having won the BRC National Rally Cup category on last year’s opening round in one of its R5 specification Mitsubishi Mirages, Pryce is looking forward to a full season with the team:

“I am extremely pleased that everything has come together in time for the first round. It’s great to be back driving with Spencer Sport. A lot of people have been working hard behind the scenes to make this year happen and I’m very grateful to them for that.

“Having finished third once and runner-up twice, there’s definitely some unfinished business between me and the British Rally Championship. So, with a great team and some excellent support behind me, I’ll be going for gold this season.”

Teammate Williams is also familiar with the Spencer Sport team and, having contested a Ford KA in the past and then made his BRC debut driving a Vauxhall ADAM in the National category on the Isle of Man in 2016, the 19 year-old is excited to be embarking on a journey to become British Junior Champion:

“This is a very big year for me. I realise that I might not have the experience of some of the drivers I’ll be up against, but I’m extremely positive and have aspirational targets. I’ve been working hard during the winter, not only on my driving, but my fitness as well - both physical and mental. I have to admit, I can’t wait to get started!”

Hoping that its legacy of good fortune will continue, the car James will be driving is actually Osian’s Drive DMACK winning Fiesta that has since been refurbished by M-Sport in readiness for 2017.

The first round of the 2017 Prestone MSA British Rally Championship takes place on Saturday 18th March with the Brick & Steel Border Counties Rally. Based in Jedburgh, the event comprises two stages on Friday evening and a further seven on Saturday that combined, provide a total of 57 competitive miles in the northern Kielder Forest area.

Spencer Sport’s 2107 British Rally Championship campaign is supported by: Spencer ECA, DMACK, Alphera Financial Services, Hills Ford, Oil 4 Wales, Porter Dodson Solicitors, Nicky Grist Motorsport, Speedline Corse, PIAA, Atec Racing, United Airpower, West Wales Rally Spares and HT Installations.

 

Team information
Ford Fiesta R5:
Driver: Osian Pryce - 24 years old, from Machynlleth
Co-driver: Dale Furniss - 28 years old, from Llanfyllin

Ford Fiesta R2:
Driver: James Williams - 19 years old, from Newcastle Emlyn
Co-driver: Phil Hall - 28 years old, from Nottingham