LOCAL motorsport hero and current British Rallycross champion Lawrence Gibson is about to become a video game star.

Lawrence's colourful and famous P&O Irish Sea supported Metro 6R4 is to be featured in the latest computer game being launched by Codemasters, the makers of the Colin McRae rally games.

It is believed to be the first time that anyone from Northern Ireland has been included in such a game.

The game, Colin McRae DiRT 2, will feature contemporary off-road events, taking players to the most diverse and challenging real-world environments - from stadium-based events to canyon racing and jungle trials.

"I was approached way back in early 2008 by a researcher from Codemasters who asked would the car be available should they wish to use it; they were in the early stages of formulating a new computer off-road game and would like my Metro 6R4 to be one of the featured off-road vehicles," explained Lawrence.

"After a brief discussion with my wife Liz and son Ryan who are part of my team and Drew Gregg who is my sponsorship co-ordinator and PR we agreed immediately as it was an honour first of all to be asked and secondly as they are a world famous producer of top quality computer games.

"I got Drew involved in the project as he looks after my sponsorship and event PR and he has been co-ordinating with Codemasters since the start.

"The research and statistic gathering by Codemasters was really something, the detail was unbelievable, they sent a photographer to our garage in Banbridge to take detailed photographs of the car from every conceivable angle, wheels on – wheels off, seats in – seats out, full suspension travel, tyre dimension pics, aerial pics, under-body pics, the photographer spent a full day taking images.

"Then we had the technical side, things like engine revs at idle, engine revs at maximum, fuel loads, torque, drivetrains, engine movement and vibrations, power to weight ratios, and the list went on.

"It was unbelievable the detail that Codemasters work to in producing a game. Since being involved with this I have great admiration for the work that goes on behind the scenes in producing a game.

"It is also a fantastic pay-back to our long time sponsors, P&O Irish Sea, who have backed me for many years and to all my secondary sponsors who have their names on my car."

DiRT 2 is being released on September 11.