Welch Motorsport has put its pair of Proton Gen-2 cars up for sale, with the team planning to build two new cars for the 2016 British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) season.
Welch Motorsport have campaigned the Malaysian cars since entering the BTCC in 2011, with a single entry for Dan Welch during the first two seasons.
The outfit expanded to a two-car operation in 2013, albeit with the second car being a Ford Focus S2000-spec model bought from another team.
For the past two seasons the team have run two NGTC-specification Protons but, with just one points finish in those seasons, the team have opted to call time on the ageing chassis.
In the season finale at Brands Hatch last weekend, Welch struggled with misfortune, suffering a damaged radiator in the first race before a driveshaft joint failure in race two also curtailed his efforts early. The failure then prevented Welch from taking the start in race three due to a lack of time to get to the problem.
“The driveshaft failure was fixable, but not in the interval between races as we would have had to extract the engine,” explained Welch Motorsport Team Principal, John Welch. “I’m relieved that the 2015 season is over and we can put it behind us. It has been character-building and a complete and utter waste of time.
“Under the current regulations planned homologation updates can only be fitted for 2016. Our power deficiency is controlled by the TOCA Technical regulation calculations and, while we are currently slightly outside of the window, we have to operate within those limits.”
Lead driver Dan Welch remained optimistic about the outfit’s prospects going forward, having developed their own engine over the past two years.
He also added that the team plan to build a pair of new cars for next season, despite having been stripped of one of their TOCA BTCC Licences [TBLs] at the mid-way stage of the season when then-second driver Andy Wilmot dropped out.
“Through experience and by working with D.T.W Engines Ltd, our current engine builder, we have reliability and can see the way forward,” added Welch. “We lobbied for an increase on boost and that would have been beneficial, but that was not to be.
“There are exciting plans in the pipeline, with two new cars underway. We’re definitely optimistic and excited about what lies ahead. The Protons are up for sale for an entry in other championships, where the potential can be unleashed. If anybody wants a Proton with 408 bhp, get in touch!”