Former Production Car World Rally Champion Niall McShea will be re-united with the Proton R3 Rally Team on the Barum Czech Rally Zlin later this month, where he will be joined by reigning British Rally Champion Keith Cronin.

McShea impressed at the wheel of the S2000 Proton Satria Neo during Rally Ireland last season when he was third quickest through the opening stage against a raft of WRC machinery and will now return to the team for the latest round of the IRC season.

"When I first drove the Proton Satria last season, I could hardly contain myself," he said. "It's an amazing car and I'm delighted to have this opportunity to drive it again. I always felt there was some unfinished business after we ran so well early in Rally Ireland last year.

"I've been busy testing and developing cars recently, so I'm feeling pretty much match-fit and ready to go. It's great to be back working with Chris [Mellors] and the whole Proton team again."

Cronin meanwhile will look to continue the kind of form that has seen him win two of the four British Rally Championship events run so far this year as he seeks to defend the title he won last year.

"I got a taste of Super 2000 rallying on last year's Rally of Scotland, so to be offered the chance to drive one of frontline S2000 cars on a round of the IRC was an incredible opportunity for me," he said. "Niall has told me about the car and I can't wait to get in it and drive it.

"Obviously, it's quite different to the Group N cars I've been driving in the British Rally Championship for the last couple of years, but it won't take me long to get to grips with the Proton. This is a gilt-edged chance for me, and I intend to make the most of it."