New team plans Proton entry
The Welch Motorsport team has announced plans to enter a Next Generation Touring Car-specification version of Proton’s Gen-2 model in the second half of this year’s Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.
Team principal John Welch has confirmed to btcc.net that the project – using the booted version of the Gen-2 – is already some way down the road. He 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.
The Fleet-based squad will also use TOCA’s unbranded turbocharged NGTC engine, added Welch.
Welch Snr, himself a former great in the world of rallycross, told btcc.net: “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.”