The Proton Iriz R5 and Mellors Elliot Motorsport (MEM) team have secured yet another win, taking the top spot at the 2018 Cambrian Rally – the season opener for the BTRDA Rally Series. The victory came in spite of a late minute entry as well as a change in co-drivers.

Piloting the Iriz R5 to victory was MEM driver Oliver Mellors and co-driver Max Freeman, the latter replacing Ian Windress who was present during the team’s success in the Grizedale Stages Rally. As the finalised time sheet shows, the Jalur Gemilang-liveried Iriz rally car had to fend off some stiff competition for first place.

After seven special stages (SS), Mellors and Freeman ended the rally with a time of 43 minutes and 47 seconds. Just six seconds behind was Paul Bird in a Ford Fiesta WRC 07, followed by Stephen Petch in a Ford Fiesta WRC.

A string of impressive finishes for the Iriz R5 is certainly good news ahead of its entry into the World Rally Championship in the WRC2 category as well as the Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) in 2018. The vehicle is set to undergo homologation with the FIA in April this year.

As a recap, the MEM-prepared Proton Iriz R5 boasts 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. It also sports an Xtrac transmission and all-wheel drive system, along with Reiger suspension, Brembo brakes and Cosworth electronics.