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Frustration for rally driver David Mann

PUBLISHED: 18:48 09 September 2010 | UPDATED: 09:19 16 September 2010

EAST Anglia's former national champion David Mann suffered a hugely frustrating return to rallying at the Woodpecker Stages Rally on Saturday,.

The Flixton-based mushroom farmer had been out of competitive action for over 10 months and the Woodpecker was the first time had driven in the forests for five years, following several seasons contesting sealed surface rallies.

EAST Anglia's former national champion David Mann suffered a hugely frustrating return to rallying at the Woodpecker Stages Rally on Saturday,.

The Flixton-based mushroom farmer had been out of competitive action for over 10 months and the Woodpecker was the first time had driven in the forests for five years, following several seasons contesting sealed surface rallies.

But his recently-acquired Subaru Impreza developed a fault very early on in the Shropshire and Welsh borders event, leaving Mann and Welsh co-driver Alun Cook struggling for power.

The vastly experienced duo eventually finished the almost 50 competitive miles of rallying in 20th position out of the 170 starters.

Mann had hoped for top ten and admitted: “I'm very disappointed because the car went so well when we had tested it. The first stage was not too bad but, because I haven't driven the new car too much, I wasn't too sure how much of a problem we had during the early part of the rally. We suspected the exhaust and maybe the catalytic converter - we certainly thought there was some sort of blockage - but we didn't have a spare so couldn't change it. It was very frustrating and left us at a huge disadvantage as the Woodpecker includes many drivers with a lot of local knowledge of the stages.”

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