Rally Hokkaido – Shakedown action

The shakedown, rally show and ceremonial start that took place yesterday was witnessed by approximately 7,500 people at the Kita Aikoku Service park. Looking at our cars lined up, I felt a sense of pride. Here we were in Japan, competing with the world’s best. PROTON has indeed journeyed a long way.

It was also the start of the first stage (Super Special) which saw a cool performance by our drivers and cars. Alister and Bill clocked 1.01.0 and Chris and Stephan clocked 1.01.4 . MRF’s Katsuhiko Taguchi with co-driver Chris Murphy clocked the fastest time of 1.00.5 during the 1.2-km Super Special Stage, ahead of teammate Gaurav Gill and co-driver Glenn MacNeall, who came out fourth at 1.01.2. Complete results listing here.

The fan base in Japan is simply awesome. The masses of fans went all out to get the driver’s autographs, with some even bringing with them posters, banners and even cards for the drivers to sign on. They came from all walks of life too. We saw a lot of lovely Japanese children and elderly women besides the normal fan demographics. How’s that for a complete fan base? The drivers were in top spirits, entertaining all their fans.

At the pre-event media conference also held yesterday, when asked impression of the roads that he’d done recce on and how confident he was to do rally in the two days to come, McRae said that for him it was obviously good to see some in car footage and he watched videos to get an idea. He mentioned that he could see that the stages may be faster than he thought. Nevertheless, he was looking forward to it.

As for Atkinson, even though he knew most of the roads, but this year it’s four new stages to ride on, except for Rikubetsu. The stages are reverse, and are much faster in places. Atkinson didn’t think it was ideal, as he mentioned they like fast stages but when it’s straight roads, it is not as much fun.

Having said that, our drivers are indeed really looking forward to rally day and, most of all, to achieving results everyone’s hoping for. We’re confident for team Malaysia and let’s see how we do today.


About Proton Motorsports

PROTON Motorsports is dedicated to bring together motorsports enthusiasts to experience PROTON's journey around the toughest motorsports events around the world.

Posted on May 22, 2010, in General, Hokkaido Rally, Proton R3 Malaysia Rally Team and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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