Proton to stage comeback in World Rally Championship 2018

“The Iriz is perfect for rallying.”

Those are the words from MEM World Rally Team boss, Chris Mellors.

British firm MEM (Mellors Elliott Motorsport) will be reconstructing the Proton Iriz so Proton can make a comeback in the World Rally Championship 2018.

The new and improved Iriz will make its debut as Proton Iris R5, at the Goodwood Festival of Speed next month. It is currently still under construction at the MEM’s Derbyshire factory.

Proton’s last campaign at the World Rally Championship ended four years ago, after the Proton stopped the production of the Satria Neo.

“We started looking at this with Proton last year and straight away we were excited by what we saw with the road car.” MEM boss, Chris Mellors said.

“The size and shape of the Iriz is perfect for rallying.” he added.

“Everything is in the right place: the overall length of the car is shorter than the Satria, but the wheelbase is longer; the strut tops are in just the right place; there’s lots of frontal area which is great for cooling.

“We’ve got a great base car and into that we’ve put all the right ingredients.”

Chris Mellors added that Proton has never lost its interest to compete in rallying, they just needed a practical car that was suitable for the World Rally Championship. So far, Proton is satisfied with the progress that MEM is making.

“We’ve still got a lot of work to do, we’ve got a lot of testing and development to do – and the debut at the Festival of Speed is pretty ambitious, but we’re well on with the job.” Mellors added.

The Iriz R5 will be available by the 1st of January 2018 for homologation — the process of certifying and approving the car to make sure it meets safety and technical requirements.

Other posts by