PROTON Motorsports charges ahead into the new rallying season for 2011!
Before we begin, we would like to wish all our dear readers of the PROTON Motorsports blog a very Happy New Year; we hope that this year will be a prosperous and exciting year for everyone 🙂
It’s an exciting year for PROTON Motorsports. Early last week, we kicked off the 2011 rally season with our very own Malaysian Youth and Sports Minister YB Dato’ Ahmad Shabery Bin Cheek passing the Jalur Gemilang (Malaysian flag) to the team. The handing over of the Jalur Gemilang kickstarts PROTON’s involvement in another full season of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) and Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) with the Satria Neo Super 2000 rally car.
We also sport a new look this year onwards. Do you like our new logo?
The new PROTON Motorsports logo embodies its synergy with PROTON, the company. The Tiger head symbolizes the link between PROTON Motorsports and PROTON whilst the colour yellow denotes the official colour of the rally team. The new logo will now represent all PROTON’s motorsport activities.
And so, the Proton Motorsports team will begin the season by participating in the IRC Rallye of Monte Carlo in Monaco this month.
The Rallye of Monte Carlo and new driver lineup
On the rally itself; the Rallye of Monte Carlo (officially known as Rallye Automobile Monte-Carlo) is organized each year by the Automobile Club de Monaco who also organizes the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix and the Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique. The rally takes place along the French Riviera in the Principality of Monaco and southeast France. From its inception in 1911 by Prince Albert I, the rally is known to run under difficult and demanding conditions. It’s also the world’s oldest rally and will be celebrating its 100th anniversary at the same time. Lots of rally history in Monaco indeed.
The team will feature regular driver Chris Atkinson who will be joined by two-time FIA Junior World Rally Champion P-G Andersson. In addition to Atkinson and Andersson, Alister McRae will remain with the team for next season, contesting the APRC series and selected rounds of the IRC.
30-year-old Swede Andersson has been rallying since the nineties and has won rally championships since 2002. His many accomplishments include bagging the title of Junior World Rally Champion in the year 2004 and 2007 and he has also been a consistent performer in the international rally scene; capable of setting fast stage times on any surface.
The Rallye of Monte Carlo is nothing new to our drivers, with Atkinson arriving in the principality with three starts and three finishes on an event that’s rated among the most difficult in the world. Atkinson has never finished outside the top six and collected a FIA World Rally Championship podium in 2008. Andersson has also contested the rally three times, taking a strong eighth place on the 2008 event.
We hope that the team will perform well in Monaco and create history in the very place where the world’s oldest rally event will be holding its centenary celebrations. It would certainly be an honour and as always we will hope for the best and support the team regardless of the outcome.
It’s going to be a great year, and we hope the same for you!
*** Watch a video of Andersson on his first outing in the PROTON Satria Neo S2000 in mid December, where he underwent his first test in the French Alps. He completed more than 200 kms in heavy snow without any glitch. To watch the video, click here.
*** The Rallye to Monte Carlo online contest has also just ended. Congratulations to Mohd Akram Zaki for winning the Rallye to Monte-Carlo online contest. He wins an all expense trip for 2 to watch the Rallye Automobile Monte-Carlo in Monaco on 19 January 2011. We just love rewarding our fans!