Basso gets Proton IRC deal

Former Intercontinental Rally Challenge champion Giandomenico Basso will drive for Proton in six asphalt IRC rounds this year, starting with next month's Canarias event

Basso gets Proton IRC deal

The 37-year-old Italian has not had a full-time drive in the series since Abarth withdrew its full factory effort at the end of 2009.

He joins P-G Andersson in Proton's works squad, and has already tested the S2000 Satria.

"When I drove the car in Italy, I felt two things: I felt the car was good and I felt a warmth in the team - I know I can work well with Proton," said Basso.

"The engine felt strong straight away, we have some small work to do to get power into different areas, but it's good. The car was also easy to drive, which is really important, especially when you have events which can have changeable conditions - it gives you confidence.

"We know we have some work ahead in order to improve the overall performances to bring the Proton Satria close to the top group and we are excited about that."

Chris Mellors, head of the MEM team that runs Proton's IRC programme, said Basso would be a big asset to the operation.

"He comes with a wealth of experience of the sport at this level and there's no doubt he's going to give us an extra edge on the rallies where he's competing," said Mellors.

"Everything went very well with Giandomenico from the start. The two days of testing he did were great, we had no issues and we got on really well. He was pleased with the car and we were pleased with him."

Proton could add a third car on some IRC events this year. It is also contesting the Asia Pacific series with Chris Atkinson and Alister McRae.

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