Team RX Racing will build a new Proton Iriz RX Supercar in time for the 2021 season in collaboration with Tony Bardy Motorsport and Mellors Elliot Motorsport.
The Iriz is no stranger to off road action after MEM created an R5 variant of the car in recent years and the team had ran two examples of the car in the British Rally Championship last season.
Both the R5/Rally2 and RX equivalent will share the same base platform, with all three parties being involved in the new car’s building process throuhgout the winter ahead of its debut next year.
The car is planned to be eligible for championships such as the Five Nations British, FIA European and FIA World Rallycross series’, with Team RX Racing’s regular driver Ollie O’Donovan set to give the car its first competitive action in 2021.
“This is a very exciting day for the whole team,” said the delighted O’Donovan about the new project.
“The cars we have been racing in the British and European Rallycross Championships for the last few years are getting a little long in the tooth, and for some time now we have been looking at where to go next.
“The easy option would have been to buy a car from the World Championship, but we wanted to do something different, to stand out from the crowd.
“I’ve worked with Tony for a very long time now and he is one of the best in the business. Linking his experience of rallycross with the expertise of MEM in the cooperation we’ve put together is a hugely exciting prospect.“
Bardy also admitted he can’t wait to get going with the new car: “We did have a different car planned to move us forward, but Ollie didn’t want to be like everybody else, he wanted to do something different.
“I pondered over that, but to start from scratch it would take years to build and develop something brand new. Then it occurred to me, I’ve known the guys at MEM a very long time, and the Iriz is something very different.
“It didn’t take us long to decide that this is the way to go, to create the first Proton rallycross Supercar. The team at MEM want to do this, and they’re committed to making it work.”
Team Principal of Proton Motorsport Chris Mellors also admitted that the Iriz is a perfect starting point to create a new Supercar and added: ““When we built the Iriz R5 originally, we had in the back of our mind that we might like to do some rallycross, so it was a bit over-engineered in some areas from the start.
“We’re very excited, both Ollie and Tony have vast rallycross experience and it’s great to have a collaboration for this project to see what we can achieve together.
“Although the Iriz is very short, it has one of the longest wheel bases of the R5 cars, with very good suspension travel and fabulous front geometry, from Proton’s original design.
“We’ve got a lot of adjustment available and we’re going to need to make some specialist components to best suit a rallycross setup, but we’re not far away already.“
O’Donovan is no stranger to having sucess in championships such as British Rallycross, having secured the title back in 2007 and is one of the most experienced drivers in the series’ history.