Incredible performance of the Neo in Czech

The PROTON team in Czech has ample reason to hold their heads up high at the recently concluded Rally Barum Czech Zlin. The dynamic duo of Niall McShea and Keith Cronin in the Satria Neo S2000 demonstrated impressive speed under extreme conditions, making waves by being among the fastest performers in the rally.

Dubbed one of the most demanding rallies in Europe, the Czech Rally concluded with the final stage on Saturday, with Freddy Loix and his Skoda coming out tops. Rally Barum Czech Zlin began on Friday, 27 August 2010 with a super special stage comprising three laps of the city centre followed by eight asphalt stages. The main action began the next day, when crews faced eight asphalt stages in the fast but technical lanes surrounding Zlin. The event ended Sunday, 29 August 2010 with a further eight stages.

For the PROTON team, pre-event testing ran smoothly under sunny conditions, but the actual rally day itself subjected them to very slippery conditions due to the change in weather – with heavy rains. Cronin was faster that Jan Kopecky during the first stage, only 3.8 seconds behind the fastest time. Cronin’s amazing performance ended when he slid off the road at an exit of a long corner, went off the road and dropped down a bank, landing close to a river. And with that he was out of the rally.  Moving at such high speeds, it’s a well known fact that crashes are an inevitable occurrence in races and that’s what happened with Cronin.  Nevertheless, he did leave an impression, setting fifth and seventh best time before his exit. Meanwhile, teammate Niall McShea and his PROTON also set an impressive pace but stopped one stage after Cronin’s retirement. McShea decided to stop when he detected a mechanical fault – nose in the car’s bellhousing.

McShea and Cronin are are among the best talents around with experience and skill in handling tarmac events. McShea’s last outing was with PROTON at the 2009 Rally of Ireland where he achieved third fastest time on the opening stage. Cronin just won International Rally Isle of Man, known to be one of the toughest tarmac events in the world. These are the reasons why they were selected for this round and the experience they bring to the team will also help them further improve the PROTON S2000 for tarmac events.

It wasn’t a win, but the team did come close to beating our competitiors. At the end of the day, the Satria’s abilities were further reinforced as demonstrated in an incredible performance in one the most challenging rally conditions by far.

Rally Indonesia cancelled

As we all know by now, the cancellation of Rally Indonesia was mainly due to the abnormal weather. Heavy rain conditions caused the rally route unusable thus prompting the organizers to try and move the rally to an alternate location.  Initially the rally organizer had proposed to FIA to move the event to the Penajam Paser Utara & Balikpapan, Kalimantan Timur but unfortunately due to custom clearance issues that wasn’t possible either. In the end, they had no choice but to cancel the rally. What does a cancellation mean for the competing teams? For PROTON, we lose out in terms of the opportunity to garner more points – the team has been looking forward for a podium finish in Indonesia and the cars have been performing well lately. And so the team was hoping to achieve better results in Indonesia.

Guess we have to accept the fact that some events are just unavoidable and beyond our control. And on that note, we shall now look forward to the final round of APRC, Rally of China, taking place as scheduled on 6-8 November 2010.


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 September 12, 2010, in Proton R3 Malaysia Rally Team and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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