PROTON rallied to two top five finishes in the overall classifications and a clinched victory in the two-wheel drive category at the 2012 International Rally of Queensland.
Defending Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) champion Alister McRae finished second in the two-day rally with team mate PG Andersson coming in fourth, while in the 2WD class, PROTON’s Akira Bamba drove to a well and hard-earned victory. Skoda’s Chris Atkinson won the rally while in third place was veteran driver Brian Green.
With eight special stages being run on the final day, McRae drove the Satria Neo S2000 to a textbook finish in pursuit of Atkinson. The highest gainer of the day however, was Andersson who punched his way up to fourth place from ninth at the end of the opening day.
“Despite being faced with a difficult start to the rally, both McRae and Andersson drove to a commendable finish to secure valuable championship points. We are still in it (the fight for the APRC championship),” said Datuk Abdul Razak Dawood, the Head of PROTON Motorsports.
PROTON meanwhile, continued to stretch its dominance in the 2WD category, with reigning APRC Junior champion Bamba taking top honors in the 1600cc Satria Neo ahead of another Proton privateer Sanjay Takle. The Junior category was won by local driver Mike Young, also in a Proton Satria Neo, who finished ahead of Bamba.
“All in all, PROTON can be proud of its achievement in Queensland, returning to the event for a second year running to improve its performance from a fourth position last year to clinch a podium finish this time round. And this underlines our commitment to be better,” said PROTON’s Director of Group Marketing, Branding and Motorsports John D. Chacko.
Rally Queensland was contested over a total distance of 863km.
words & pix: PROTON