It’s another great week for Proton in rallying as Chris Atkinson of Proton Motorsports, has just won the International Rally of Whangarei, held this weekend in New Zealand. The Australian also ran a trouble free rallying to take 1st place in the Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) round four in New Zealand. Even more splendid is the Australian is first international driver to win the International Rally of Whangarei, taking victory in the two-day gravel event by 12.4 seconds from Kiwi Subaru driver, Hayden Paddon.
Team mate Alister McRae had a strong start in top three at day one, but the car’s engine problem has caused McRae to be out of the podium. Despite the setback, he managed to reach home in seventh place, overall at number two in the APRC championship. The top 10 was completed by New Zealand drivers competing in the New Zealand Rally championship in their Mitsubishi Evo and Subaru Impreza machines.
This means Chris Atkinson is now the leading driver in the APRC driver’s championship with 3 maximum points finishes out of 4, while Alister McRae is in second. This victory has brought Proton Motorsports to lead the manufacturer title in the APRC. If that’s not all, Proton will also take the Pacific Cup trophy home as well, as Karamjit Singh and Akira Bamba are 1st and 2nd in the 2WD APRC cup. They also finished 4th and 5th overall in the APRC standings. With 2 remaining rounds in the 2011 round, the future does look very bright for this yellow hatchback rally machine. The next round will be in Japan for Rally of Hokkaido in September 2011.