The PROTON R3 Racing Team rejoins Round 2 of the Malaysian Super Series (MSS) in Sepang International Circuit this weekend as clear favourites in the Malaysian Touring Car Championship after clinching back-to-back race victories in the opening round of the season.
Setting a blistering pace in Class 2 for production cars up to 1600cc, young drivers Syafiq Ali and James Veerappan in the 1600cc R3 Satria Neo have clearly underlined that they will be the pair to beat this weekend. Both Syafiq and Veerapan have one race win each to their tally when they went on to win both 9-lap races in March held in conjunction with the Petronas Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix.
“We have two very talented, incredibly fast, committed and focused drivers in Syafiq and Veerapan. Round 1 clearly demonstrated their strong desire to win and as a team, they both work in unison to accomplish these goals,” said Team Principal Tengku Djan Ley Tengku Mahaleel.
Unlike Round 1 however, this weekend’s race will see the new format of the 2012 Malaysian Touring Car Championship being implemented, which will require both drivers teaming up for a one-hour race that includes a compulsory pit stop and driver change. “Consistency in pace will be extremely important this weekend and both drivers have been putting in a lot of work to achieving competitive times. We have also made further improvements to the Satria Neo in keeping with the new format of endurance racing,” said Tengku Djan.
Already proven on track and in gruelling competition such as rallying, the 1600cc two-wheel drive Satria Neo brings not only exceptional reliability and handling to the race this weekend, but also race-winning performance. “The new format of the 2012 Malaysian Touring Car Championship is an exciting one which promotes on-track competition to a new and higher level, extracting not only the very best performance from a vehicle, but an important step towards developing a greater pool of even competitive and talented local drivers,” said Head of PROTON Motorsports, Datuk Abdul Razak Dawood.
Meanwhile, PROTON’s Director of Group Marketing, Branding & Motorsports, John D. Chacko said the 2012 Malaysian Touring Car Championship provided an ideal platform to showcase the engineering prowess of R3 which is the company’s motorsports division. “Research and development, underlined by accomplishments on the track translate into the introduction of performance-driven production models, and this is a further manifestation of PROTON’s commitment to be better and aspirations to be a competitive car manufacturer.”
words & pix: PROTON