Mann forced to take no further part in Mutiny What is rapidly becoming top East Anglian driver David Mann's worst ever season in over two decades of rallying continued when a split exhaust manifold forced him and co-driver Alun Cook out of the...
Mann forced to take no further part in Mutiny
What is rapidly becoming top East Anglian driver David Mann's worst ever season in over two decades of rallying continued when a split exhaust manifold forced him and co-driver Alun Cook out of the Mutiny Rally on Saturday (June 5).
The fourth round of the Kumho Tyres National Rally Championship proved no more fortunate than the previous three as the high speed duo ground virtually to a halt on the fifth stage, having been hampered by a mysterious lack of power throughout the Welsh forest event.
"The exhaust manifold had split all the way round and it's not something we carry as a spare on the service van so we were forced to retire," explained the disconsolate 2003 National Champion Mann.
The ailing Kumho-sponsored Subaru Impreza WRC had already lost a huge chunk of time when the decision to pull out was taken.
"We had noticed a lack of power from around stage two onwards but the Mutiny Rally has a service after the first stage and then nothing until stage six - that's about 35 competitive miles," Mann continued.
"The downpipe took a clout very early on and that's where we think the damage to the manifold might have occurred. The stages were quite rough and we were running fairly high in the order at number four."
A multitude of mechanical failures and a crash had left the defending champions with just three points from as many rounds prior to the start of the Llandrindod Wells-based Mutiny Rally so they started steadily and were lying eighth after the morning's opening test in Radnor.
By the time they finally pulled out of the action their Subaru had slipped to but the catalogue of frustrations has done little to alter Mann's devotion to the Kumho Championship. He added:
"We will definitely continue with the Swansea Bay Rally on July 17, where hopefully our luck will change. We'll have to see where we go from there."
The Mutiny Rally provided a first ever National Championship victory for locally based star Craig Middleton, who drove his Hyundai Accent WRC to a 45-second success over the Subaru Impreza of last year's winner and current Kumho championship leader Roger Duckworth.