The Mellors Elliot Motorsport (MEM)-built Proton Iriz R5 is on a roll, now adding a win at the Woodpecker Stage Rally 2019 last weekend – the sixth round of the BTRDA rally series – to its string of victories. This comes after the car’s homologation for FIA-sanctioned events, including those on the World Rally Championship (WRC) calendar.

The MEM Iriz R5 continues to be piloted by driver Ollie Mellors and co-driver Ian Windress, completing the five special stages with a time of 43 minutes 34 seconds, ahead of George Lepley who drove a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X to second place, 20 seconds behind Mellors. Stephen Petch in his Ford Fiesta WRC to third with a gap of 33 seconds, while Ian Bainbridge took fourth in the Skoda Fabia R5 with a 53-second gap.

Mellors recorded the fastest times in four out of five stages at the Woodpecker Stage Rally, including a 16-second lead in the second stage despite colliding with a hay bale. The MEM-built Iriz R5 continued its streak of fastest times save for the final stage, which was enough to collect the win.

“I have to say the car was truly perfect today and there is so much more to come out of it, and me. It just seems to want to keep giving and feels great on the gravel, no matter what the surface or grip change in the stages. We have won a BTRDA round before which was back in 2018, but this is it’s first since being ratified by the FIA so it makes it even more special for the Mellors Elliot Motorsport team,” said Mellors.

“I would also like to dedicate this win to all our friends in Malaysia, as the 31st August is Hari Merdeka – the national day of Malaysia which commemorates the Malayan Declaration of Independence back in 1957. It’s a very poignant moment that we can give Proton a rally win on this very special day for them,” he added.

The Proton Iriz R5 has been built to comply with R5 competition regulations, and therefore has been specified with a Mitsubishi 4B11T engine sleeved down to 1.6 litres. This is the only R5 competition car that has been homologated for both left- and right-hand drive formats according to MEM, and componentry features Xtrac driveline, Reiger suspension, Brembo brakes and Cosworth electronics.