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Osian Owen All Set For WRGB 2017  

Posted 25 October 2017

On the eve of Wales Rally GB, Club Chairman Paul Jones got the opportunity to catch up with friend and Rhyl & District Motor Club member Osian Owen as he prepares for this year’s International event Co-Driving for Kalvin Green in the Ford Fiesta ST.

Name  Osian Wyn Owen

Born  August 1995  

Hometown  Rhyl

What attracted you to join a motor club and get involved in motor sport?

As I grew up around the sport, I wanted get more involved with night rallies in the area and to enjoy something I love watching. The Astra stages use to run past my Nain’s house and have a time control there.

I really don’t know why I wanted to get involved in motor sport other than I want to live life on the edge.

How old were you then when you watched your first rally and who took you?

My first taste of rally cars was at a very young age. But the first Stage Rally I watched was in Clocaenog Main with my dad at the age of six or seven.

A young age to get hooked..... So do you have an all-time motorsport hero?

Driver – Colin McRae
Co-Driver – Nicky Grist

But present time I love watching in car footage of Paul Nagle, Kris Meeke’s Co-Driver

You started in the sport as a navigator on a local road rally. Who did you gain your knowledge from for navigating on these events?

I had the basic bits shown to me by Club member Heath Griffiths and yourself and I remember you looking at how I could improve and reduce my time at plotting and making it easier to read.

Have you had any success with any road rally drivers?

Had a top ten on a National B event on a plot and bash. I’ve also had four class wins, two of which were on my home event.

So how long were you navigating on road rallies before you decided to have a go at stage?

Just over two years bud

How did you get into stage rallying then. Did somebody offer you a seat for your first stage event?

I was stood at the top of Myherin watching Wales Rally GB and said I will never watch again (too cold) and I went off to get my first seat in a stage car with Roger Lovett in a Nissan Micra. The Cambrian Rally was my first event which we finished with a class win too.

That was Cambrian 2016. So since then have you sat with many other drivers and in what cars?

Roger Lovatt – Nissan Micra

Alex Bane – Nissan Micra

Euron Lloyd – MG ZR

Martin Williams – Ford Escort MkII

Phil Spilstead – Nissan Micra

Ross Leach – Subaru Impreza

Dave Perkins – Nissan Micra

Daniel Owen – Mitsubushi Lancer Evo VII

Peter hedges – Mitsubushi Lancer Evo VI

Martin Crombie – Peugeot 106 GTi

Robert Wilson – Nissan Micra

Rhodri Roberts – Mini Cooper

Steve Bennett – Ford Escort RS1800

Jason Gardener – Ford Escort RS1800

David Dobson – Ford Escort MkII

Kalvin Green – Nissan Micra

Tom Delaney – Suzuki Swift

James Crosland – Ford Escort MkII

What championships have you been competing on this year and have you had any success?

BHRC (British Historic Rally Championship) and the BTRDA. Unfortunately nothing much this year, but last year I finished second junior Co-Driver overall in the BTRDA and first junior Co-Driver in the Talk First Championship and first in my class.

This will be your first WRC event and hopefully first of many. How have you prepared for the event?

Yes many more to come. Well first we go back about six weeks before the event. I start with planning a test for the car about two weeks before the event to make the necessary changes to car set up. Then I move on to reading the event regulations so I know everything from the ‘ins and outs’ of the FIA rules and the rally.

Four weeks before the event we have the road book, recce book, maps etc. I then go on to make a logistics plan for the recce so the service crew know where we will be at what time and what we will need for the car. Once that is done I move on to do a full break down of the event for the service crew to know where they need to be to do tyre change and put lights on, to what we need in the support vehicles; how many spares we need to carry what tyres to use, how much fuel we need and order it. Then this is sent out by email and put in to two folders for the event.

Two weeks before the event, pace notes arrive with a DVD so I take a full week of analysing the stages and over the weekend to make changes in my notes for the best line, pace and speed.

Couple of days before the event, the recce starts where we drive the whole rally route and stages to finalise anything we may not have seen on the DVD.

First day of the event, forget about everything you have done over the past six weeks as you know it’s right and now concentrate on the job at hand. Getting the times right, road sections spot on, a rhythm with the notes that suit the driver and deliver the best you can possibly do.

Finish of the event, crash and burn and sleep for days.

Are there any stages your looking forward to this weekend?

Alwen and Brenig have to be my favourites as they are on the doorstep of my childhood home.

Have you set yourselves a target for the event that you'd like to achieve?

As the car was bought to do a full attack of the Fiesta ST Trophy Championship next year, Wales Rally GB is purely for us as a crew to gain a lot of seat time together and get to a very competitive pace. We’re not ruling out a push for a class win but we will see how it goes.

So next year promises to be a busy season along with your recent success of being awarded a position on the MSA Co-Driver academy. I bet you’re over the moon.

I’m absolutely delighted. The MSA Academy Co-Drivers are selected based on their potential to reach an elite level in rallying. The programme is supported by experts including Nicky Grist and Paul Spooner, both of whom have competed at the pinnacle of the sport in the World Rally Championship. I’m looking forward to working and learning from these guys and appreciate that they have seen potential in me.

Also running alongside the Fiesta ST Championship where I'll sit with Kalvin Green, I will also be doing the full BHRC Championship with Steve Bennett in a BDA MkII. Yes a very busy year and with the MSA Academy accepting me as one of seven chosen.

I feel quite honored and I would like to thank all my family, my partner, Rhyl & District Motor Club and friends for the support over the past two years stage rallying.

I'm sure we will all be keeping a close eye on your progress over the coming years and be supporting both you and Kelvin on this weekend’s Wales Rally GB. I'm sure friends and club members will be popping over from the club stand at the Rally Village for updates. We all wish you every success in chasing your dream. Well done mate