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Proton officially unveiled its line-up for its first ever entry in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) in the UK recently with the S2000 Satria Neo being unveiled to international media at the Rally Show, a two-day rally festival held at historic Chatsworth House.

The team, with two-times British rally champion Guy Wilks and co-driver Phil Pugh, will be piloting the Proton Satria Neo Super 2000, designed and built by British team Mellors Elliot Motorsport (MEM).

Fans attending the Rally Show were thrilled by the bright yellow Proton Satria Neo Super 2000 during some demonstration laps.

Despite his hectic schedule filled with international TV and press interviews, Wilks managed to find time to judge the best Proton at the British Proton Owners Club display whilst entertaining the crowd and signing autographs.

The Proton Satria Neo Super 2000, attracted huge attention at the Rally Show, and will contest all seven remaining rounds of the 2009 IRC, starting with the Belgium Ypres Rally on June 18 to 20.

Managing Director Proton Holdings Berhad, Syed Zainal said, the company is very excited to have Guy Wilks driving for Proton in the IRC particularly following his stunning performance in the recent Pirelli Rally in the British Championship.

"Proton is positive about its capabilities to put up a strong challenge and MEM has done a great job with the Proton Satria Neo S2000 and it will continue to improve as the year progresses," said Syed.

Wilks, 28, the runner-up of the 2005 Junior World Rally Championship said the drive  presented a fantastic opportunity.

"Proton and MEM are highly ambitious but they are also very realistic as newcomers to the IRC, we need to make progress in every round and be ready to fight for the championship in 2010," he said.

Proton's participation in the IRC challenge marks the Malaysian car manufacturer's return to the global rally scene.

The last time Proton took part was in the 2002 Production World Rally Championship where the Proton sponsored Petronas Eon Racing Team took Malaysian driver Karamjit Singh to the championship also driving an MEM developed car.

The IRC 2009 calendar has already seen four events run so far with seven remaining rounds.
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