PROTON IRIZ DEBUTS WITH A PODIUM RUN
Ollie Mellors gave the brand new Proton Iriz R5 its competition debut on the Malton Forest Rally, finishing third.
Mellors Elliot Motorsport team has tested the car extensively, including with Marcus Gronholm behind the wheel, with the target of competing in WRC2. The company has won championships in the WRC before with its Proton Satria S2000.
“I had only driven this current-spec car for half a day prior to the rally,” said Mellors. “The aim was to just get around today and see if we had any issues.”
“There were no early teething problems and apart from scaring myself in Langdale’s first run and then losing a boost pipe on the second, it was faultless and finishing third behind two WRC cars was a bonus,” he said.
“It’s the biggest project we have undertaken as a company, but obviously having done the S2000 with Proton that helped,” said Ollie’s father Chris, himself a Mintex Rally champion in the 1990s. “Now we’ve run the car, the homologation is being looked at. We have other cars in build and expect to target the Asia Pacific Rally Championship first.”
The team has an entry in for the car on the Grizedale Stages next month.
● Le Mans winner Guy Smith had his first gravel rally outing for two years when he tackled the Malton Forest Rally in father Peter’s Ford Fiesta R5 driven by Matt Edwards in the British Rally Championship this year. “It’s the newest and fastest rally car I have tried on the loose, but what an experience,” he said after finishing seventh. Smith will look to defend his Christmas Stages win at Croft in December.
Ollie Melllors drove the car