Ollie O’Donovan and Team RX Racing to debut Proton Iriz RX in 2021
Team RX Racing is delighted to announce a brand-new collaborative venture to bring a new model into top-flight rallycross, the Proton Iriz RX.
As part of a collaboration between one of the most respected rallycross preparation firms in the world, Tony Bardy Motorsport (TBM), and renowned Proton Motorsport rally specialists Mellors Elliot Motorsport (MEM), Team RX Racing will debut the new Proton Iriz RX Supercar in 2021.
The brand-new car will share its base platform with MEM’s highly regarded Iriz R5 (now Rally2) rally car, first revealed at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2017. The Iriz is the only R5 car in the world to be FIA homologated in both left and right-hand-drive, and has undergone extensive testing with drivers like double-World Rally Champion Marcus Gronholm at the wheel. In competition, the Iriz has won multiple national rallies.
The Iriz RX is being built for purpose from a fresh bodyshell for Team RX Racing to race in British Rallycross Championship 5 Nations Trophy, European Rallycross Championship and World Rallycross Championship events from 2021, and is being developed to suit the requirements of top-level rallycross competition.
2007 British Rallycross Champion Ollie O’Donovan will race the new car in its maiden campaign, which will be operated for Team RX Racing by TBM, the firm that has run O’Donovan’s rallycross Supercars for almost 15 years. The new machine is currently under construction at MEM’s top-class facility in Derbyshire, with the support of TBM engineers.
Keep up to date with the creation of the Iriz RX via Team RX Racing’s social media channels (links below).
Ollie O’Donovan: Team RX Racing Team Principal and Lead Driver
“This is a very exciting day for the whole team. The cars we have been racing in the British and European Rallycross Championships for the last few years are getting a little long in the tooth, and for some time now we have been looking at where to go next. The easy option would have been to buy a car from the World Championship, but we wanted to do something different, to stand out from the crowd. I’ve worked with Tony for a very long time now and he is one of the best in the business. Linking his experience of rallycross with the expertise of MEM in the cooperation we’ve put together is a hugely exciting prospect. The car is based on the successful Iriz R5, but it is also an all-new fresh build. There’s a huge amount of work to do before we can even think about the first roll out, but I already can’t wait to get behind wheel in testing, and then to race the car at some of the best rallycross circuits in the world in British, European and World Rallycross Championship events.”
Tony Bardy: Tony Bardy Motorsport Owner and Team RX Racing Chief Engineer
“We did have a different car planned to move us forward, but Ollie didn’t want to be like everybody else, he wanted to do something different. I pondered over that, but to start from scratch it would take years to build and develop something brand new. Then it occurred to me, I’ve known the guys at MEM a very long time, and the Iriz is something very different. It didn’t take us long to decide that this is the way to go, to create the first Proton rallycross Supercar. The team at MEM want to do this, and they’re committed to making it work. The Iriz has already done lots of rallies and proved the concept, so as long as we can get comparable power from the engine to what we have now, which I’m sure we can, I see no reason why we can’t be right where we want to be. The quality the Iriz R5 is high, and to be involved in this new project with the Iriz RX is a breath of fresh air.”
Chris Mellors: Proton Motorsport Team Principal
“When we built the Iriz R5 originally, we had in the back of our mind that we might like to do some rallycross, so it was a bit over-engineered in some areas from the start. We’re very excited, both Ollie and Tony have vast rallycross experience and it’s great to have a collaboration for this project to see what we can achieve together. Although the Iriz is very short, it has one of the longest wheel bases of the R5 cars, with very good suspension travel and fabulous front geometry, from Proton’s original design. We’ve got a lot of adjustment available and we’re going to need to make some specialist components to best suit a rallycross setup, but we’re not far away already. We’ve had some very positive rally tests recently, and we’re getting stuck into the build of the new car now. We like winning and that’s what we want to be doing with this project too.”
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