If anyone can recall earlier this year, Proton is set to return to the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) when one independent team, Welch motorsports, will use the Proton Gen-2 saloon (or more known as Persona in Malaysia) to race. The car will be running under the Next Generation Touring Car (NGTC) classification which runs under an standardized 300HP turbocharged engine and gearbox, targeted to reduce racing cost. However the team will only start racing in August.
Which comes to this week when Welch Motorsports has finally revealed the Proton Gen 2 touring car in its inaugural race in Snetterton. This also marks Proton’s return to BTCC after the Proton team last raced in 2004 via the Proton Impian (Waja in Malaysian market) for 3 years. The team, ran by John Welch, is an experienced touring car builder and the driver will be served by his own son, Dan Welch, who is an experienced touring car driver.
Proton last BTCC outing was best described as underwhelming
Optimistically, team boss John Welch believes the new Proton Gen-2 can be a future front runner in the series after its first track appearances at Snetterton on Saturday, despite the car is 4-5 seconds off pace from the leading Chevrolets. The team boss believes the car has potential, despite limited time to test after the car was built in 6 months. “We’re not six months behind for this season, we’re six ahead for next year,” he added. “Looking to next year there will be a good product.
The driver, Dan Welch
How will the Proton Gen-2 fare in Snetterton? Come back again in few days time and we will provide a race report on this. Together with the Proton Satria Neo S2000 in rallying, we will be following this closely too! All the best to the Proton Gen-2 of Welch Motorsport team!