The Proton R3 team, which bagged the Overall Champion title at last year’s Sepang 1000KM (S1K) endurance race, has announced its vehicle line up for the 2018 edition of the event. The team will be running a two-car line-up this year – racing alongside the Proton Iriz will be a Saga, competing in the event for the first time.

The selection of the Saga is very much a homage to the original, which besides being the first model used by Proton in motorsports remains very much the car of choice for budding racers to get their first taste of competition through race series’ like the MSF Saga Cup.

“The Proton Saga has a long history of competing and winning in various motorsports competitions and the S1K is the perfect platform to reintroduce Proton fans to our R3 racing division, while reminding them about the racing heritage of our best-selling model,” said Proton Edar CEO Abdul Rashid Musa.

“This will be the first time the current Saga will be competing and it will be racing against very stiff competition, but we believe in the ability of R3 to develop a competitive machine,” he added.

The Saga S1K race car is based on the current version of the entry-level sedan that was launched in 2016, and will be piloted by Admi Shahrul and James Veerapan, the winning driver pairing from 2017. Meanwhile, Fariqe Hairuman and Syafiq Ali will race in the Proton Iriz, which was on track for victory last year until a minor mechanical issue robbed them of glory.

For this year’s campaign, the R3 race team will be made up of 21 crew members as well as 15 students from DRB-Hicom University of Automotive Malaysia in Pekan, Pahang.