As we tread further along the new road of 2018 there are a plethora of motorsport exhibitions to visit for both competitor and spectator alike. For the rally enthusiast the Historic Rally Car Register (HRCR) open day held at the British Motor Museum, Gaydon is the now traditional opening event of the year for the historic rallying community. Unusually, this event is free to attend and brings together all forms of the sport including Historic Road and Stage Rallying, Historic Endurance Rallying, Speed Events for historic vehicles and Scenic Tours.
The theme for the 2018 HRCR Open Day was the MG Metro 6R4 (above, photo by Pete Austin). Developed for Austin Rover by Williams Grand Prix Engineering it is one of the most spectacular MG cars ever produced. The project was first revealed in February 1984 and scored its first victory on the Gwynedd Rally March 1985. Built to Group B regulations the 6R4 featured a rear-mounted 410 bhp naturally aspirated V6 engine coupled to a four-wheel-drive system. The requisite 200 vehicles were built to comply with the Group B homologation regulations, with the “clubman version” having a 240 bhp engine and capable of 0-60 mph in 4.3 seconds. There were several examples on display for visitors to get close to, also 6R4 test and development driver Ian Beveridge, who took on most of the long distance running, then a BL Motorsport employee was on hand to give a first hand account of his work. Of course, Ian later successfully rallied his 6R4 too.
Rally legend and newly appointed BRDC President Paddy Hopkirk, 1970 World Cup Rally drivers Bron Burrell and Tina Kerridge-Reynolds and the Whyte sisters, stars of historic rallying, were among the name rally drivers in attendance. With a good number of period rally cars on show from the 1950s to the 1980s augmented this very convivial event, which seems to gain in popularity year on year.