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Mann heading for Wales

PUBLISHED: 10:24 18 August 2008 | UPDATED: 07:36 01 August 2010

Leading Suffolk rally driver David Mann admits that it might take more than a little good fortune to make up much ground on the front-runners in the Richard Egger Insurance MSA Asphalt Championship in round five in mid-Wales on Sunday.

Leading Suffolk rally driver David Mann admits that it might take more than a little good fortune to make up much ground on the front-runners in the Richard Egger Insurance MSA Asphalt Championship in round five in mid-Wales on Sunday.

The 2008 'Eventsigns' Mewla National Rally is contested around the grounds of the military firing ranges at Epynt and, although Flixton-based Mann and co-driver Alun Cook have done events at the venue before, they concede that some of their main championship rivals have much more extensive experience there.

“Because of the layout there are only a limited number of stages that you can contest at Epynt,” points out mushroom farmer Mann, who is contesting the six round all-tarmac series for the first time.

“Some people, who do a lot of rallies on Epynt, know it like the backs of their hands and that makes it difficult for us to make time on them.

“Closed public road rallies are more of a level playing field with no-one holding much advantage, so they are the kind that we would really prefer at the moment.

“Championship favourite David Kynaston's Audi produces something like 400bhp and it's not easy to compete with that, even in a straight fight.

“But he also knows Epynt and Otterburn (where the final round of the series will be staged) well, so it will be difficult making up much ground on him anywhere.

“We probably still need for him to have a problem on one of the remaining two events if we are going to be in with a chance of the title, but our aim on the Mewla must be to get as many points as possible to at least take the championship into the final round.”

“Mann and Cook's Kumho Tyres Subaru Impreza will be re-united with its own engine for the rally after the 2003 National Rally hampions were forced to borrow a power unit for the last round in Ireland.

“We were very grateful for the loan but are glad to have our own engine back after having extensive work done on the crankshaft and bearings,” commented Mann, who despite a second round none-finish now only trails championship leader Steve Simpson by 12 points with a maximum of 50 still available.

The other front runners, including veteran 12-times tarmac champion John Price, are also closely bunched so an exciting finish to the season is in prospect.

The Mewla National Rally allows all the crews to recce (slowly research) the route on Saturday prior to the action starting in earnest 24 hours later.

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