The boss of the factory Proton team believes Guy Wilks' Intercontinental Rally Challenge campaign has turned a corner recently following Spain's Rally Principe de Asturias.
Although Wilks and co-driver Phil Pugh were 19th at the finish after encountering several delays, Chris
Mellors said the Proton Satria Neo Super 2000, which his MEM operation is responsible for developing, was at last making notable progress on the back of improvements to the car's dampers and engine before the event.
"Guy's times have proved we're competitive," Mellors said. "And when we make changes to the car, what happens after that actually makes sense, which wasn't happening beforehand."
The results of the two-day test programme ahead of this week's Rally Sanremo can only help in getting more performance out of the Proton.
"The most important thing now is to get mileage on the car and keep finding improvements," Mellors explained.
"I'm confident we're getting there."
Wilks lost time in Spain after an overshoot as he tried to get his beached car out of the gravel without a reverse gear, but he afterwards underlined the Proton's promise with the fifth-fastest time on the final stage in Asturias.
Despite his final result, the Briton has no doubts that the Proton has been moving forward in its development.
"The result wasn't important, it was the pace that mattered," Wilks insisted.