Rallye Sunseeker duo want to retire marvellous Metro in style

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Father-and-son motorsport duo Stuart and Simon Larbey are preparing to compete one last time at the Rallye Sunseeker International in the forests of Ringwood in their iconic ex-works Metro 6r4.

The MG Metro 6r4 was a famous Group B rally car of the 1980s, a period renowned for the raw power and immense speed through the gravel forest stages worldwide.

After 26 years of competitive rallying, the iconic car will have one final competitive outing before retiring from national events.

The car, currently owned by Stuart Larbey, was a former works car, driven by UK rally legend Tony Pond in the famous 1986 Rallye de Portugal Vinho Porto.

The 4WD, six-cylinder MG Metro 6r4 was developed by Williams Grand Prix Engineering in the early 80s to compete on the international stage, achieving nought to 60 in 2.8 seconds, with a top speed of 130mph.

Despite limited success internationally, the car was - and still remains - a raucous crowd-pleaser, famous for the high-pitched roar that echoes through the forests as the car tackles the stages.

Stuart has competed in this infamous car all over the UK for nearly 15 years and more recently used the car at events such as the Goodwood Festival of Speed, where he won driver of the day in 2006 and 2009. Driver Stuart and co-driver Simon, from Chichester, have been rallying together for the past eight years in the 6R4 and are hugely excited to run this celebrated car competitively one last time.

The Rallye Sunseeker has been the team’s local event for years and the duo have mixed feelings about it. Stuart said: “We are immensely excited and sad to end the car’s competitive career in Bournemouth. It has been a pleasure to rally and we’d like to thank all the support we have received over the years.

“Sadly, the car is not as quick as it once was, but does still spit flames from the exhausts!

“Nevertheless, we feel it’s right to retire the car now. We look forward to seeing some local spectators in the Ringwood forests in a few weeks.”

The Rallye Sunseeker takes place in Poole and Bournemouth on February 25/26. For more information visit www.rallyesunseeker.co.uk