Austin Rover’s prospective Group B rally car, the four-wheel drive MG Metro 6R4, made its public competition debut on the RAC National Championship York National Rally on the last Saturday in March. Driven by Tony Pond, the V6 Rover engined Metro (see April MOTOR SPORT) led comfortably after setting fastest time on the first eight stages of the one day, 11-stage rally, but retired after an alternator fire.
At this point Pond led by more than two minutes, but even if he’d finished all the stages he would not have been classified as a finisher. Pond’s commitment to drive a GpA Rover Vitesse in the British Saloon Car Championship meant that arrangements had been made to helicopter him from the finish of the final stage to Silverstone. He at least had the consolation of winning this race.
Victory on the York National went to reigning British Champion Darryl Weidner who was débuting a turbocharged engine Audi 80 Quattro. The four-door saloon is fitted with a 320 bhp engine from a Quattro coupe.