Driver

PROTON IRIZ SUPERCAR FOR EURO AND WORLD RX IN 2021

Wednesday 16th of December 2020

Ireland’s Ollie O’Donovan will return to the FIA European Rallycross Championship and selected FIA World Rallycross Championship events in 2021 with a brand-new Proton Iriz RX Supercar, the first time the marque will have appeared in World RX events.

O’Donovan’s Team RX Racing squad will continue its long-term relationship with preparation firm Tony Bardy Motorsport, as part of a collaboration with Mellors Elliot Motorsport, the company responsible for the Proton Iriz R5 rally car. The first ever Iriz RX is being developed as a fresh build, but using the Iriz R5 platform on which to create the new rallycross car.

“This is a very exciting day for the whole team. 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,” said former Euro RX podium finisher O’Donovan. “I’ve worked with Tony (Bardy) 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. The car is based on the successful Iriz R5, but it is also an all-new fresh build. There’s a huge amount of work to do before we can even think about the first roll out, but I already can’t wait to get behind wheel in testing, and then to race the car at some of the best rallycross circuits in the world in British, European and World Rallycross Championship events.” 

The new car is currently in build in the UK at Mellors Elliot Motorsport. “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,” said Proton Motorsport Team Principal Chris Mellors. 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. We like winning and that’s what we want to be doing with this project too.”

Tony Bardy added that Team RX Racing has decided to develop a new car to stand out from the crowd. “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,” he said.

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