Monday 28 December 2020

Team RX Racing to debut Proton Iriz RX Supercar in 2021

In a brand-new venture to bring a new Supercar into top-flight rallycross, Team RX Racing has announced a collaboration with Tony Bardy Motorsport and Proton Motorsport rally specialists Mellors Elliot Motorsport to build and race a Proton Iriz RX Supercar in 2021.

The car will be based on the Iriz R5 rally car, which was built and developed by Mellors Elliot Motorsport's [MEM] and has undergone extensive testing by the likes of double-World Rally Champion Marcus Grönholm and Pontus Tidemand. The Iriz RX is being developed to suit the requirements of top-level rallycross competition and will be entered into the British Rallycross Championship 5 Nations Trophy, European Rallycross Championship, and selected World Rallycross Championship events from 2021. 

2007 British Rallycross Champion Ollie O’Donovan is set to race the new Supercar in its maiden campaign and will be operated for Team RX Racing by TBM, a firm that has run O'Donovan's rallycross Supercars for almost 15 years. 

"This is a very exciting day for the whole team," a thrilled O'Donovan said. 

"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," he adds.

Team RX Racing Chief Engineer and Tony Bardy Motorsport Owner Tony Bardy admits that they had a different car planned, but decided "to do something different".

"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," Bardy said.

"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 Iriz has already done lots of rallies and proved the concept, so as long as we can get comparable power from the engine to what we have now, which I’m sure we can, I see no reason why we can’t be right where we want to be. The quality of the Iriz R5 is high, and to be involved in this new project with the Iriz RX is a breath of fresh air."

Mellors Elliot Motorsport and Proton Motorsport's Team Principal Chris Mellors adds that when developing the Iriz R5, his team over-engineered the car in some areas as they have had the intention to do some rallycross at some point. 
"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," Mellor said.

"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 wheelbases of the R5 cars, with very good suspension travel and fabulous front geometry, from Proton’s original design. We’ve got a lot of adjustments 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."

"We’ve had some very positive rally tests recently, and we’re getting stuck into the build of the new car now."

"We like winning and that’s what we want to be doing with this project too," he adds.

Written By - Junaid Samodien

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