More Misery for Mann on Mutiny It was a tale of much more mileage but ultimately more misery for Flixton, near Bungay mushroom grower David Mann at the Mutiny Rally in mid-Wales on Saturday (June 4). The East Anglian ...
More Misery for Mann on Mutiny
It was a tale of much more mileage but ultimately more misery for Flixton, near Bungay mushroom grower David Mann at the Mutiny Rally in mid-Wales on Saturday (June 4).
The East Anglian farmer, plagued by endless mechanical misfortune since brilliantly taking the National Rally Championship in 2003, drove his Kumho Tyres Subaru Impreza WRC through some "horrendous" conditions to within sight of the finish before engine failure and a small under bonnet fire brought his charge to a halt.
Mann and Caerphilly co-driver Alun Cook arrived in Builth Wells to find the nine stages ahead of them already slippery due to two days of rain but while visibility was often obscured their passage to the finish remained clear of trouble until the penultimate stage at Crychan.
"Some of the storms we experienced meant we couldn't see where we going," explained father of three Mann.
"In Halfway Forest (Stage 7) it was raining so hard that we had to slow down because the wipers couldn't clear the rain from the windscreen quick enough."
Nevertheless Mann, who admitted to still being a bit rusty after a succession of rallies cut short by engine problems, had recovered from a slow start - 20th after Stage 1 - to climb to 12th position going into the long ten-miler at Crychan.
"We were about four miles into the stage when we smelt smoke in the car and realised we had a small under-bonnet fire which we had to stop and put out.
"Obviously we had a problem with the engine and that had dumped some oil which had caught fire."
The Kumho-sponsored crew managed to swiftly extinguish the flames but their rally was run, leaving them again disconsolate.
"There's virtually no damage to the body of the car but we've probably melted one or two pipes.
"We still hadn't been as competitive as I would have liked but I think we were improving as the rally went on.
"I probably am still a bit rusty but felt more comfortable in Radnor (which was the longest stage and resulted in their Subaru being well inside the top ten times)."
The immediate future depends upon the outcome of a post-mortem on the car: "First we have to find up what happened to the engine, then we can think about what events to do next," added Mann. The Mutiny Rally was eventually won by multiple ex-National Champion Marcus Dodd in a Hyundai Accent WRC.
Dodd overhauled the Ford Escort WRC of previous leader, another former title holder, Mark Perrott on the final stage after Perrott - a local forest specialist - emerged from the same Crychan stage that claimed Mann with visible damage to his car's front steering.