PROTON takes fourth at Rally of Queensland
Four’s not such a bad number. It’s better than being at fifth 5 and certainly a lot higher than 10. At the Rally of Queensland that took place sometime mid May, Alister and co-driver Bill fended off a series of misfortunes to give PROTON a strong fourth place finish.
Beginning the day with an eight second advantage over Mitsubishi’s Gaurav Gill, they were forced to relinquish the rally when the Proton Satria Neo S2000’s engine began misfiring after a water crossing in one of the day’s seven special stages. Their charge back to the top was dealt an even serious blow when they were forced to slow down considerably as a result of a broken drive shaft over 50km of the last three special stages of the rally, causing them to lose more time. Despite this, they managed to hang on to 4th place in front of a Rifat Sungkar of Indonesia, in his Mitsubishi Evolution 10.
“With no service interval, we were forced to slow down and nurse the car to the finish. It was a tough event, one that presented us with a lot of challenges. McRae and I are obviously disappointed in not being able to secure a podium finish but considering the circumstances, finishing fourth at least sees us heading to the next APRC round with valuable championship points,” said Bill.
Rejoining the final day of the rally after an early retirement on day two, Chris endured a second electrical failure which ended his rally.
The rally was won by British driver Mark Higgins, who finished 16 seconds ahead of Gill, while in third place was Japanese driver Katsuhiko Taguchi.
It was a hard fought rally, and while the team were hoping for a better result after a strong start, fourth place amidst an unfortunate last day will nevertheless go a long way in extending their position in the overall manufacturer’s championship, with full points on Leg 1 and some good points on Leg 2 with a 4th overall and 1st in Class 2.
Meanwhile, PROTON’s 1600cc group N Satria Neos finished 9th and 11th overall in the rally, and 1st and 2nd in class at the hands of Karamjit Singh and Proton Cusco Rally Team mate Akira Bamba.
Better luck next time 🙂
Posted on June 6, 2011, in APRC, Proton R3 Malaysia Rally Team and tagged Alister McRae, Bill Hayes, Chris Atkinson, FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship results, malaysia, Proton, Proton Motorsports. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.