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Mechanical problem halts bid

PUBLISHED: 10:48 30 October 2009 | UPDATED: 08:47 01 August 2010

FORTUNE failed to favour either driver David Mann or navigator Alun Cook as their season-long bid for honours in the Richard Egger Insurance MSA National Asphalt Championship ended at Otterburn in Northumberland.

FORTUNE failed to favour either driver David Mann or navigator Alun Cook as their season-long bid for honours in the Richard Egger Insurance MSA National Asphalt Championship ended at Otterburn in Northumberland.

Boasting a trio of second-places early in the season, Mann finished fourth in the drivers' championship, while Cook will pick up some silverware at the end of year presentation in Sutton Coldfield, for third place in the co-drivers' title race.

Flixton mushroom farmer Mann travelled up to the north-east for the UTS Cheviot Keith Knox Stages Rally on Sunday confident of securing runner-up spot, while Cook, from Caerphilly, harboured high hopes of gaining the co-drivers' crown after his main rival Sean Mullally opted not to contest the 12-stage event.

But the pair's Subaru Impreza, which was once driven by Norway's ex-world champion Petter Solberg but has been in 'moth balls' for much of the past two years, continued to reveal teething troubles to its new occupants.

The duo, having already overcome a clutch problem to set the third fastest time on the opening stage, ground to an agonising halt, as did their charge for championship honours, midway through the second timed test.

Mann said: “I am very disappointed that things didn't turn out quite as planned this year but I hope we can pay [our sponsors] back with a little bit more success next year.”

“The season began so well [but] the last two rounds have been very frustrating as we still haven't done 20 miles in competition in the new Impreza,” he added.

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