ALISTER LEADS THE CHARGE FOR PROTON AFTER DOMINANT DISPLAY IN RALLY HOKKAIDO
PROTON was in dominant form in Rally Hokkaido with the two Satria Neo S2000s of Chris Atkinson and Alister McRae leading the Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) contenders only to be struck by a series of misfortunes.
Going to Japan with a chance of sealing this year’s APRC Driver’s title, Australian driver Atkinson led the rally until the ninth special stage of the day when he was forced into retirement with a blown engine.
McRae meanwhile, had to concede second spot due to a puncture in the sixth special stage but was immediately back on pace recovering from fifth to finish the day in third amongst the APRC running cars.
“We have another day of rallying with McRae in strong contention for a podium finish. The focus for tomorrow will be on securing as many points as we can to strengthen our position in the Manufacturer’s championship,” said Datuk Abdul Razak Dawood, the Head of PROTON Motorsports.
Going to Japan, PROTON leads the APRC Manufacturer’s title with 132 points, with Mitsubishi a close second with 119 points and Subaru a distant third place with 39 points.
“The fight for the championship (Driver’s and Manufacturer’s titles) will obviously go to the final and decisive round of the APRC in China in November. The Satria Neo S2000 has been really dominant in the APRC this season and having led both the Driver’s and Manufacturer’s titles, we would like to end the season on a high note.”
McRae meanwhile, was second overall in the driver’s championship with 86 points behind Atkinson who leads with 106 points. Whilst in third and fourth places respectively are Indian driver Gaurav Gill at 63 points and Indonesian Rifat Sungkar with 47 points. Gill finished Day 1 of Rally Hokkaido in second while Rifat was placed seventh, with Japanese driver Katsuhiko Taguchi leading his home rally.