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Hopes go up in flames

PUBLISHED: 11:41 16 May 2008 | UPDATED: 07:25 01 August 2010

David Mann's hopes of strengthening his Richard Egger Insurance MSA Asphalt Championship challenge went up in flames at the RBS International Manx Rally on Saturday.

David Mann's hopes of strengthening his Richard Egger Insurance MSA Asphalt Championship challenge went up in flames at the RBS International Manx Rally on Saturday.

Flixton mushroom farmer Mann and co-driver Alun Cook had already endured a tough opening leg on Friday, but were still running well inside the top 10 and heading for a sizeable haul of championship points when their Kumho Tyres Subaru Impreza suffered an under-bonnet fire at the end of Stage Nine.

“We went through six fire extinguishers before the fire brigade finally arrived and dowsed the flames,” said a shocked Mann.

“We won't know the full extent of the damage until we get the car back to the workshops, but we think a split exhaust manifold might have ignited oil in the engine compartment to start the fire.

“Every time we thought we'd managed to put it out, it flared up again, and if it hadn't happened at the finish of a stage I'm sure the damage would have been even worse!”

It is now a race against time, as there are less than two weeks until the next round of the MSA Asphalt Championship - the Jim Clark National Rally in Kelso on May 23 and 24.

“So much depends upon the extent of the damage,” points out Mann, whose failure to score on the Isle of Man is not a terminal blow to his title hopes as each driver can drop their worst result at the end of the six-round series.

“But we can't afford another zero,” he concluded.


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