BTC-T Proton Impian


BTC-T Proton Impian

The Malaysian company Proton announced it was to join the BTCC in 2002 with its Impian saloon car. In fact, this was actually more of a semi-works effort run under the guise of Team Petronas Syntium Proton (Team PSP, a highly successful saloon car racing team from Asia who were backed by the might of the Petronas oil company. Based in Norfolk, the team built up the cars from roadcars from local dealerships, due to it being difficult to get bodyshells all the way from Malaysia. This hindered the car slightly, as it was overweight due to its origins, as are most racecars which don't come from bare bodyshells. It did have a strong Mountune Engineering engine however, which gave good speed on the straights and in the wet. David Leslie gave the car several podium finishes in 2002, while teammate Phil Bennett struggled to maintain the form he showed in 2001 at the Egg Vauxhall team. The status quo was maintained for 2003, but the car was still uncompetitive compared to the rest of the field and finishes in the lower half of the top ten was as good as it got.

For 2004, the driver lineup changed completely. South African driver Shaun Watson-Smith and Malaysian youngster Fariqe Hairuman were drafted in, but despite Watson-Smith's promising performances, the plug was pulled on the BTCC programme at the end of their three year deal and the cars were taken back to Malaysia. It did get a new lease of life however, as Team PSP ran Hairuman, Mashlino Buang and Michael Briggs in the Asian Touring Car Championship in the rebadged Waja saloon as it was known in its home country. In a sparse field mixed with S2000 and Super Production machinery, the Waja did finally win its first races of its career. In 2007, Team Petronas went down the S2000 route, meaning the end of a 5 year programme for the Impian/Waja.

----Car 1
*2002 - David Leslie
*2003 - Phil Bennett
*2004 - Fariqe Hairuman
*2005 - Mashlino Buang Asian Touring Car Championship
*2006 - Mashlino Buang Asian Touring Car Championship----Car 2
*2002 - Phil Bennett
*2003/04/05 - Unused
*2006 - Michael Briggs Asian Touring Car Championship----Car 3
*2003 - David Leslie
*2004 - Shaun Watson-Smith
*2005 - Fariqe Hairuman Asian Touring Car Championship
*2006 - Fariqe Hairuman Asian Touring Car Championship


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