PROTON BANKING ON EXPERIENCE AND SUCCESS ON GRAVEL AT RALLY SCOTLAND

Published on October 10th, 2011
PROTON looks forward to carrying a strong momentum to the penultimate round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) in Scotland this weekend having already been assured of securing the Driver’s title in the Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC).

Fresh from a second place finish in Rally Hokkaido last weekend, APRC championship contender and leader Alister McRae will spearhead PROTON’s European campaign this weekend sitting in for Italian Giandomenico Basso to compete in his home event at Rally Scotland.

P-G Andersson

The Scottish driver will partner Swedish driver P-G Andersson to take on the three-day event in which he had finished second overall in the Satria Neo S2000 in his debut for PROTON in 2009.

“It’s always nice to come home to compete again…And it’s good to come home with plenty of competitive seat time in the Satria Neo,” said McRae.

“We had a good result here a couple of years ago, when we finished second in the PROTON. The competition is going to be really tough, there’s a good, quality entry for the rally. In October, it’s just possible there could be a wee bit of rain or mist around, just to really spice things up a bit. After that, it’s onto the familiar stages on Saturday and Sunday – and these really are some of the best roads in the world. I know I’m a Scotsman, so I’m possibly a wee bit biased, but Scotland’s a fantastic country and the Rally of Scotland is a great rally to come and watch.”

Giandomenico Basso (ITA) Mitia Dotta (ITA), Proton Satria Neo S2000, Proton Motorsports

Rally Scotland consists of 15 special stages run on gravel over a competitive distance of 196.96km in the forest roads of Stirling, Perth & Kinross and North Lanarkshire. The rally kicks off with the ceremonial start at Stirling Castle, a historical venue where the kings of Scotland were traditionally crowned, before proceeding to a 8.36km night super special stage for spectators.

“It’s going to be nice to get the car onto gravel as this is the surface where I have more experience in competition,” said Andersson.

“We could see from the times set by Basso in San Remo last month that the car is getting better and better, and everyone in team is full of confidence after a very good result in Japan last weekend.”

Rallye San Remo

At the San Remo Rally two weeks ago, Basso had driven the Satria Neo S2000 to a strong top 10 finish.

“By virtue of Rally Scotland traditionally being the battleground for the IRC championship it attracts all of the top drivers and that puts us in the company of very stiff competition. We are however, optimistic that McRae’s local knowledge of the terrain and Andersson’s equally impressive performance on gravel will see us through to a strong performance,” said Datuk Abdul Razak Dawood, the head of PROTON Motorsports.

“If the results of this year’s APRC are anything to go by, the Satria Neo is strongest on gravel having won three from five rallies and finishing second in Japan recently.  We’ve made significant progress to the Satria Neo S2000 over the last one year and it will be interesting to see how it fares on gravel in Europe this time round as opposed to the earlier rounds of the IRC which had been run predominantly on asphalt.”

words & pix: PROTON

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