There were two weekends of continuous rallying involving Proton Motorsports’s Proton Satria Neo S2000. Last weekend’s Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) Round 3 in New Caledonia, Proton’s good luck has returned when both cars finished the rally in top 3 positions!
Australian Chris Atkinson won the rally while his team mate Alister McRae took third spot. Second place was won by Indonesia’s Rifat Sungkar in his turbocharged Mitsubishi Evo X. This is Atkinson’s second victory and he is now at the top of the driver’s standings in APRC. On team standings, team Proton took the top after bad luck hit their nearest rivals team MRF when all cars from MRF failed to score points.
Even more great news is that in the Asia 2WD cup where the Satria Neo CUSCO is featured and driven by Karamjit Singh, finished ninth overall in the rally. The Malaysian won the Two-Wheel Drive Category in his 1600cc Satria Neo which extends his lead in the Driver’s Championship.
Celebration was cut short when the team needed to fly to Europe for the following week’s Intercontinental Rally Championship (IRC) round on asphalt rally of Geko Ypres Rally in Belgium. Despite featuring two different drivers of European based Giandomenico Basso and PG Andersson, most of the team management and mechanics are the same personal so it is a challenge to travel and commit into two different rallies. The IRC rally is a tough one as the Proton needs to keep pace with favorites Peugeot and Skodas with much experience and competitive European drivers.
The rally just concluded recently and the results was not so promising. Giandomenico Basso went off the road at SS7 and eventually led into retirement. PG had an eventful rally as he went off the road for many times. He did bring the car home into the final stage and finished in 19th overall. On the positive, at least none of these cars from both the APRC and IRC retire from mechanical or reliability issues. Just that the car needs to improve the pace to compete with the faster S2000 cars.
There is still another second half of 2011 to go as we’re reaching the middle of APRC and IRC rounds. We can be sure to update the progress of this fast and nimble yellow machine to our readers here. Meanwhile, please enjoy the video of the victorious Satria Neo in New Caledonia!