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– Osian Pryce seals victory on Yorkshire tarmac, to take his second consecutive Citroën Racing Trophy UK win
– Jukka Korhonen finishes second, to hold on to the championship lead with one round remaining

Following on from their win on the last round on the Ulster tarmac, Welsh crew, Osian Pryce and Dale Furniss took their second Citroën Racing Trophy UK victory after a closely fought Trackrod Rally Yorkshire.

DS3s dominated in the Yorkshire forests claiming the top nine overall places and in so doing, ensured that Citroën UK are Manufacturer Champions in the British Rally Championship for the second consecutive year.

The Friday night ceremonial start took place in Pickering Market Place and it was then spotlights on for two dark stages in the famous Dalby forest complex, featuring the wood-yard section where hundreds of spectators gathered to catch DS3 in action.

On the opening Staindale stage it was CRT UK leaders Jukka Korhonen and Marko Salminen who set the early pace, but Osian Pryce replied on the following Dalby Stage to take an overnight lead of 4.2 seconds. Alastair Fisher ended the night in third, with Mark Donnelly fourth, last year’s winner Tom Cave fifth and John MacCrone sixth, just ahead of Jonny Greer.

The second day brought five stages, including the 15-mile Langdale stage and by the second Gale Rigg stage of the day, Korhonen had edged into the lead. He extended the lead on the long Langdale test to 5.3 seconds – a handsome advantage in such a close event.

Pryce refused to give in though, as he sought to avenge his defeat from last year, when he lost the rally on a tie-break to Tom Cave. The 20-year-old Welsh driver blasted through the Staindale test to beat Korhonen’s time by six seconds and re-take the lead.

In Korhonen’s own words, his stage “hadn’t gone well” and on the start line of the final stage he stalled, losing ten seconds. After the incident, Korhonen commented: “(It’s a) Big frustration. I have never stalled on a start line before – (it was) not good!” He may well be frustrated, but Korhonen was able to hold on to second place and the young Finn only needs a reasonable finish on the final round to seal both the BRC and CRT UK titles.

Alastair Fisher and Gordon Noble claimed third, just three seconds behind Korhonen and the duo also claimed two fastest times on the event. Tom Cave placed fourth and was a little frustrated, saying: “We didn’t really make any mistakes, but just didn’t find those extra tenths to push, and now we need a very good result on the Sunseeker.” Both Cave and Fisher still have an outside chance of the BRC title, should trouble strike Korhonen in the final round.

Mark Donnelly and Dai Roberts were a little disappointed not to take a podium finish, but fifth was not a bad result for the Pirelli Star Driver. John MacCrone and Phil Pugh made a superb recovery from their Ulster Rally inversion, to find their confidence again and collect sixth place, after a superb battle with Jonny Greer. Indeed, the DGM Sport driver made a late charge to finish just two tenths of a second shy of MacCrone. Ninth place was a fine reward for James Grint and Anthony Litchfield and they were delighted to make the finish, as this event often proves unlucky for the pairing.

It was however a superb weekend for Osian Pryce, who was rewarded with €4,000 Citroën Racing Trophy UK prize money as a reward! Pryce commented: “The competition has been fantastic but I’m glad it’s over. We knew we just had to go for it after being so close last year. It has been a great experience, and now we have proven that we can do it on gravel and tarmac.”

The sixth and final round of the Citroën Racing Trophy UK takes place on the Rallye Sunseeker International in the Dorset and Hampshire forests on October 18-19.

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