The presence of Proton cars in the motorsports arena continues with the recent announcement that Welch Motorsport will be running a Proton Persona in the Next Generation Touring Car spec series of the 2011 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.

Welch Motorsport announced that it would be running a “booted version” of the GEN2 in the NGTC BTCC series – I’m assuming that they mean the Persona as the Persona shares the GEN2 name with the GEN2 hatchback in the UK.

Team Principal John Welch told that the team would be taking delivery of the car today and will begin rebuilding it into a BTCC contender. His son 27 year old Daniel Welch will be driving it. As there will be time needed to convert it into NGTC spec, Welch Motorsport hopes they will be able to join the series in the second half of the season sometime in August, going up against other cars like the SEAT Leon Eurocup and the Vauxhall Vectra.

The Welch Motorsport Proton GEN2 will be running the standard NGTC spec “unbranded” turbo direct injection electronic throttle engine, which has 2.0 litres in displacement and makes over 300 horses, with the option for an overboost as well.

This standard unbranded engine offering exists to help reduce team engine budgets by more than half, somewhat like the Cosworth engine option in Formula One. Currently, teams will have the option to either run their own engines or use the NGTC engine up until 2013. Both FWD and RWD are allowed. Not everyone has opted for the unbranded engine – the Dynojet team’s Toyota Avensis uses a Toyota 2.0 litre 3ZR family engine that makes about 140 horses in stock form, equipped with a turbocharger to make over 300 horsepower.