Jason Pritchard has become the 2018 Protyre MSA Asphalt Rally Champion, after scoring his third maximum points score of the season on the Ford Parts Cheviot Stages Rally.

The 30-year old Builth Wells driver – who wears a Stilo WRC DES 8860 helmet and P1 Advanced Racewear suit – mastered the very wet and slippery conditions on the Otterburn Military Ranges in his North Road Garage Ford Focus WRC05, clinching the title at a dramatic finale.

Co-driven by Phil Clarke, Jason’s championship success comes 30 years after his father Eian narrowly missed out on clinching the same Asphalt title on Otterburn in an Escort Mk2 – after a close battle with John Price/Mike Bowen (Metro 6R4).

It was also Jason’s fourth major rally title in as many years, having won a record-breaking three consecutive MSA British Historic Rally Championships (2015, ’16 and ‘17).

Jason’s main rival was Daniel Harper, but his title challenge ended when he aquaplaned his John Cooper Works Mini WRC off the road on SS4. So slippery had this particular downhill section become in a monsoon-like downpour, that the stage was eventually stopped for the several crashed cars to be moved out of harms way.

With three-quarters of the rally remaining, retirement for Jason would see the absent series leader Wayne Sisson win the championship – the Mitsubishi driver missing the final round as the one dropped score rule meant that he couldn’t realistically improve on his points tally. Save for an overshoot on SS10, Jason held his nerve to finish a very tricky event and celebrate another fantastic title.

“We’ve had everything thrown at us today, even snow, so it was a case of keeping it clean and getting the car to the finish without a problem,” said Pritchard. “We almost managed to do that without making any mistakes, but we had a bit of an overshoot on one stage, but apart from that everything was steady away and spot on. It was a hard day’s rallying and anyone who reached the finish deserves a medal. Winning the Asphalt Championship means a lot, because Dad tried so many times and came so close. Thirty years ago, I’d only just been born and he was fighting for the title up here on Otterburn, and now I’ve got it. It’s going to take a while to sink it.”