Following its debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed and its impressive showing at the Festival’s Forest Rally Stage, the Mellors Elliot Motorsport (MEM) Proton Iriz R5 began its competition campaign in earnest with its participation in the MEM Malton Forest Rally 2017, and has emerged with equally impressive results.

Piloted by Oliver Mellors and co-driver Ian Windress, the MEM Iriz R5 went on to score a third place overall finish, 26 seconds behind Charles Payne and 19 seconds behind Stephen Petch, each driving a Ford Fiesta RS WRC. The Iriz R5 was the class of the R5 field, charting a time 3 minutes and 21 seconds quicker than the next in class, a Ford Fiesta R5 piloted by Smith Guy.

“The MEM Malton Forest Rally certainly didn’t disappoint, the car was faultless all day and never having to put a spanner on it,” Oliver Mellors said on his Facebook page.

“To set the fastest time on the first ever competitive stage for the new Proton Iriz R5 was fantastic and finishing the event in third overall, only to be beaten by two world rally cars and beating all the other R5 cars. The stages were extremely fast with the average speeds over 96 km/h on every stage and the top speed just over 200 km/h,” he continued.

This bodes well for the Iriz R5 ahead of its entry into the World Rally Championship in the WRC2 category as well as the Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) in 2018. In addition to the contesting of the Malton Forest Rally, the Proton Iriz R5 was also given a test by rallying legend and double WRC champion Marcus Grönholm in Wales the previous weekend.

Under its skin, the MEM-prepared Proton Iriz R5 boasts of a 4B11T turbocharged four-cylinder engine from the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X, albeit with its cylinders sleeved down from 2.0 litres to 1.6 litres to comply with R5 and WRC2 class regulations. Tranmission and all-wheel drive is courtesy of Xtrac, while suspension duties are handled by Reiger and braking is provided by Brembo, with electronics by Cosworth.

GALLERY: Proton Iriz R5