Welch Motorsport to enter an NGTC-spec Persona
Welch Motorsport, a prominent player in the British motorsport scene has been planning a British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) race car based on the Proton Persona and it will comply with the Next Generation Touring Car specifications.
Although work is already some way down the road, the team believe that they can only take part in the second half of this year’s Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.
Team Principal, John Welch is hopeful that the car, to be driven by 27-year-old son Daniel, will make its debut at Snetterton in early August when the BTCC season recommences after a summer break.
He also said that the NGTC Persona will be powered by TOCA’s unbranded turbocharged NGTC engine and not Proton’s own engines.
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“We are scheduled to take delivery of the Proton road car today (Wednesday) to begin the process of building it into a BTCC car – so the realistic target is to come into the series in the second half of the season with a longer-term ambition of running two cars.
“Obviously it’s a very different challenge but in recent years we’ve come up against grids of 30 or 40 cars in the SEAT Leon Eurocup and been right at the sharp end, so have learnt something about making a saloon car go quickly.
“Daniel would be one of the quick youngsters coming in. He’s been very quick in everything he’s driven since he was seven years old – he lives and breathes motor racing and has always been fully involved on the engineering side so is a proper all-round competitor. I’m confident he really has the ability to cut it in the BTCC,” James said.
The 2011 BTCC season will kick on on April 3 at Brands Hatch and the calendar will tour 10 races throughout the year.
The BTCC is known as one of the most competitive touring car series in the world.
Apart from the BTCC, Proton is also taking part in the International Rally Challenge with their Satria Neo S2000, which is campaigned by Mellors Elliot Motorsport. The car finished in first and second at the China leg of the Asia Pacific Rally Championship.