Syafiq Ali and James Veerapan finished with a race victory each to deliver a triumphant third successive victory for PROTON in Class 2 for production cars up to 1600cc in the Malaysian Touring Car Championship.
Starting from pole position, Syafiq steered the 1600cc Satria Neo to victory in style, fending off stiff competition despite losing fifth gear midway through the race to complete the 10-lap race in 24 minutes 29.009 seconds, in a closely contested race to take the checquered flag 4 seconds clear of his nearest competition.
Veerapan meanwhile, won the second 10-lap race at the Sepang International Circuit with an overall time of 24 minutes 42.413 seconds. He was 7 seconds ahead of Soh Kee Koon in the Toyota Altis and Alvaro Mourato in another Satria Neo.
“This weekend was another triumphant effort from the boys at R3 and PROTON Motorsport. The team gathered around a problem that came on race day and adapted to the situation through innovation and sheer passion for the sport. And the result – back to back victories in both Race 1 and 2 at MSS,” said Veerapan.
Unlike Round 2 which was run as a one-hour endurance race, Round 3 of the championship was run as two 10-lap sprint races with twice the number of championship points up for grabs.
“I qualified on pole position in our class, had a very good start and managed to pull into the lead. But on lap 5, I lost fifth gear. However, I managed to hold on and finished the race as the winner. Overall, it has been a good weekend and I would like to thank PROTON and the entire team for a great race weekend. Our two race victories have significantly strengthened our claim for the title this year,” said Syafiq.
Victory in three rounds also not only underlines the Satria Neo’s competitiveness in circuit racing and in grueling competitions such as rallying, but reaffirms its reputation as a race-winning contender.
words & pix: PROTON