Report from MOTORING NEWS of 20th October 1982
Wood fells 'em
A FINE run for David Mann was spoilt on the eighth stage when a problem lost the Escort driver three minutes, allowing Andrew Wood to slip in and lead the group. Kevin Curran drove a sensible rally with only a puncture delaying him from challenging the early leaders, but consistency netted the Welshman third place. It was rumoured that Gpl was going to be decimated on the Pace. True, we had lost Steve Green to a Gp4 Escort, Louise Aitken to the development XR3 (see RRU) and Steve King deciding that it would be better to save the cash for another day. But we still had Cumbria winner Andrew Wood, David Mann, Curran and Lovell which promised another hard-fought group.
Mark Lovell's rally soon came to an end, the Passey and Porter Escort succumbed to electrical troubles when the alternator wire came adrift on the first stage. Kevin Curran picked up a puncture two miles from the end of the stage, a problem that lost him four minutes. David Mann was the fastest on the first stage from Andrew Wood, the Scot never having been in the Welsh forests before and saying: "I find them fast and quite frightening." Wood managed to equal Mann's time on two of the morning stages but couldn't quite wind up the Strathclyde Motor Spares Escort sufficiently to beat Mann's stage times.
By the second service (the lunch halt) Mann had a lead of 20 seconds over Wood, with Mervyn Coxon holding third place half a minute in arrears.
The cars left for the second circuit, Graham Evans was sure he could pull back some time but it was not to be, he retired on stage six. The damper conditions had obviously affected the stage surface as most competitors turned in slower times than the morning. David Mann still headed the times with Kevin Curran / Trevor Wheatley getting back into the fastest stage times in an attempt to claw back their three minutes deficit. It appeared that David Mann had Gpl victory in the bag but on stage eight he dropped three minutes, handing the lead to Andrew Wood. Over the last two stages Mann took 14 seconds from Wood, hardly enough to make any impression on the result. Curran had got himself well and truly into gear, taking time from the rest of the group on four of the five afternoon stages, enough to give him third placed Gpl. Sympathy had to go to Mervyn Coxon, however, who was lying third with his Escort, but Hafren second time around saw his downfall and third place slipped away.
AND from the front page -
Saturday's Pace National Rally, this year's final RAC National Championship event, saw rallying history in the making. The Aberystwyth-based rally fell to Markku Alen at the wheel of a GpB Lancia Rally, the car's first ever victory. Alen was never challenged over the 80 miles of blind forest stages in mid-Wales, but behind him Russell Brookes and Stig Blomqvist scrapped hard for second place, Brookes gaining the edge when Blomqvist's Sunbeam suffered fuel injection troubles. The National Champion, Malcolm Patrick (Ascona 400) finished fourth ahead of series runner up, Mike Stuart, in an Escort RS.