In last weekend’s round seven of Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) in which both Proton Satria Neo were featured, the team did reasonably well by having double finishers in a sea of Skodas and Peugeots. PG Andersson finally got his first points finish by finishing at ninth while his Italian team mate, Giandomenico Basso finished in thirteen place after spinning out on stage five.
The Satria Neo S2000 in one of the toughest IRC rally
The 16 stage rally, featuring tarmac Czech forest roads, is one of the most famous and challenging rallying stages in Europe. The rally features proliferation of high-speed blasts through forests and woodland, sections of broken tarmac and the bumpy nature of some of the roads. The tight, rough and twisty tarmac roads are not only the challenge drivers will face but the hot and sulky summer heat brings physical challenge to the drivers and navigators.
In the end, 2 finishers and one points finish is not a bad attempt for the Proton Motorsports team, considering the Brum Czech rally is actually one of the toughest IRC round to date. The team suffered from double retirement from last year event, reliability has indeed improved but the Satria Neo machine still needs development to catch up with the faster Skoda Fabias and Peugeot 207s. The rally was won by Czech local hero, Jan Kopecky with a small 1.2 sec advantage over Freddy Loix, who both are in Skodas.
PG Andersson set to gain his confidence on the Proton!
However it is a massive confidence boost for the Swedish driver,PG Andersson, who has never finish a rally with the Proton due to accidents and mechanical retirements until now. “I think this is the best I have driven on a Tarmac rally for a very long time and some of that’s got to be down to the way the car is improving,” quoted from Andersson. “There are still areas where we can find better settings but I have to say it’s going well.”
The next IRC round will be Hungary’s Mecsek Rallye on 9-11 September 2011. Since the dates do not clash with APRC, so expect the Proton Motorsports and MEM boys to compete there.
See you soon in Hungary!