Mann remains loyal to National Championship Flixton's reigning Kumho National Rally Champion David Mann has stated his intention to continue competing in the seven-round series despite a catalogue of misfortune wrecking his chances of retaining...
Mann remains loyal to National Championship
Flixton's reigning Kumho National Rally Champion David Mann has stated his intention to continue competing in the seven-round series despite a catalogue of misfortune wrecking his chances of retaining the title.
Mann and Caerphilly-based co-driver Alun Cook have suffered a nightmare defence - scraping just three points from a troubled opening round before an engine problem in round two and a crash on the last event in the Isle of Man put them out of contention completely.
"We haven't even considered not continuing with the championship," confirmed Mann from the relative tranquillity of his mushroom farm on the Norfolk/Suffolk border. "We'll certainly do this one (the Mutiny Rally on Saturday, June 5th) and the Swansea Bay Rally in July and maybe re-assess the situation after that."
Mann and Cook finished third on the 2003 Mutiny Rally, en-route to taking the Kumho-sponsored national crown for the first time, but their fortunes have taken a dramatic downturn since trading their championship-winning but somewhat ageing Subaru Impreza for an Impreza WRC.
To combat a lack of practice in the new car Mann, who has also won the Group A, B and N categories during a long-standing association with the National Championship, took time out to spend a day further familiarizing himself with its characteristics in South Wales recently.
"We had a good test day last Thursday and came away with very positive feelings," continued Mann. "We did a lot of work with the suspension and are much more confident now, but it's still one thing going testing and practicing but you never know how it's going to work in competition until you get out there in a rally?"
Warwick-based engine specialists Warren Heath Motorsport (WHM) rebuilt the engine after the problems that curtailed Mann's participation in round two, while Andy Card (Ace Motorsport) prepares the Subaru in South Wales. An upbeat Mann adds:
"We have been very pleased with the work that they have done and are going into the Mutiny determined to get a good result to boost our confidence.
"Top five would be nice but there are a lot of good drivers in the field and Mark Perrott and Andy Burton are on their home patch so know the forests very well."
After the all-tarmac Manx Rally, the Mutiny Rally returns the championship to gravel and utilizes well-known stages like Radnor (14 miles), Halfway (6 miles), Crychan (11 miles) and Tywi (13 miles), which provide excellent spectator access to the action.
The Midland Manor/Ludlow Castle Motor Club event is based at the Royal Welsh Showground near Builth Wells. The capacity entry begin their high speed assault on the event from the picturesque 'Lakeside' on the outskirts of Llandrindod Wells
After a long and hard day's rallying the survivors are expected to return to 'Lakeside' to cross the finish ramp at around 5.20pm and Mann and Cook will hope to have added considerably to their Kumho Championship points tally by then.
They start at number four behind last year's Mutiny Rally winner Roger Duckworth - the current Kumho Championship leader, Burton and 1992 Champion Perrott, with the likes of multiple former champion Marcus Dodd and another series stalwart Steve Petch following close behind in the their tyre tracks.