BCCC 2017 Ceri

BCCC 2017 Radnor

BCCC 2016 Ceri

BCCC 2016 Pikes Peak

BCCC 2013 Round 5 - Walters

BCCC 2013 Round 4 - Myherin

BCCC 2013 Round 3 - Radnor

BCCC 2013 Round 2 - Forrest Lodge

BCCC 2013 Round 1 - Radnor

All images © Songasport


The story of the 6R4EVO

From a distance it may look like a normal MG Metro 6R4, albeit one with a bit more suspension travel than usual, but Phil Ibbotson’s machine is rather different from the cars that compete on stage rallies up and down the country most weekends.

Phil, from Whitworth, uses his unique car to compete in offroad events such as the British Cross Country Championship (BCCC).

The only true 6R4 parts on the car are the doors, door pods, back wings and tailgate. Everything else is different from the standard car.

"The main shell is made of fibreglass to keep the weight down. The front wings were designed by myself as we need more suspension travel on off-road events, the different design gives an extra 3" of travel over the standard wings," said Phil.

"The car is on double wishbones and twin coilovers all round compared to the original cars being on struts. The engine is in the rear like the original but it’s a BMW M3 unit. The gearbox is an Elite transmissions 6-speed sequential running through a reverse rotation transfer box to give 4 wheel drive. BMW 7 Series LSDs front and rear complete the transmission."

With the car constructed on a space frame chassis any look could have been used for the shell but Phil chose to make his car look like a classic works 6R4.

"I always preferred the Group B era of rallying and I can remember watching them in the Welsh forests when I was in my late twenties. I thought the 6R4 looked and sounded the best of the cars and they had more character about them so I decided to make my car look like one."

Once the decision had been made to make a 6R4 replica Phil visited rally driver Warren Philliskirk who kindly let him view the real 6R4 he has campaigned on stage rallies for many years. After a close look at Philliskirk’s machine Phil contacted a friend, Gordon Monaghan, who had already built a "Group B" off-roader.

"Gordon had built an off-road car with a Ford RS200 body so I knew what I wanted to do was possible. We discussed some ideas and I then made the main shell and fitted all the body panels and took it over to Gordon as an assembled body. He then designed and constructed a complete space frame and roll cage up to MSA spec inside the body. Gordon also fabricated all the wishbones, built the suspension and mounted the engine, gearbox, transfer box, diffs and propshafts."

"I collected the car as a rolling shell. It then took me a further 12 months to complete the build. The car was stripped and painted in Computervision colours like the works cars. The car was then fully rebuilt, and I drafted in Jay at Simtek UK to do the wiring loom as his motorsport looms are renowned for their reliability and quality. Once that was completed the car was finally ready to go!"

The car was finished in late 2006 and Phil competed in three club events to make sure everything did what it was meant to. He first entered the BCCC in 2007 and has contested every year since. The 6R4 has proved popular at the events with spectators stopping to look at the car and asking questions about it’s specification.

"The car always attracts attention at events, especially amongst the rally people that are watching. I think it’s that nostalgic thing of an iconic car that was designed and raced in the 80s and then banned, people still have fond memories of the 1985 RAC and Tony Pond finishing third on the debut world championship event for the 6R4."

"The BCCC events are very good value for money, especially when compared to rallying - we get much more miles per pound."

"Like a lot of people in the sport I started with trialing Land Rovers. I began in 1983 with the Pennine Land Rover Club. I soon progressed to comp safaris and started competing with the Northern Off Road Club, which allows a wider variety of vehicles. I was class champion several times and won the overall championship."

"Doing the BCCC is a natural evolution from doing the regional championships and the organisers, Marches 4x4, put on good events and a good championship. The events are strongly contended by a lot of top competitors but even with the rivalry it is a friendly sport and everybody helps each other."

Phil is intending to enter selected BCCC events in 2017 as well as a few other events. 

Please click for 6R4Evo archive.