Category Archives: Rally Queensland
Queensland, 27 May 2012 – PROTON rallied to two top five finishes in the overall classifications and a clinched victory in the two-wheel drive category at the 2012 International Rally of Queensland.
Defending Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) champion Alister McRae finished second in the two-day rally with team mate PG Andersson coming in fourth, while in the 2WD class, PROTON’s Akira Bamba drove to a well and hard-earned victory. Skoda’s Chris Atkinson won the rally while in third place was veteran driver Brian Green.
With eight special stages being run on the final day, McRae drove the Satria Neo S2000 to a textbook finish in pursuit of Atkinson. The highest gainer of the day however, was Andersson who punched his way up to fourth place from ninth at the end of the opening day.
“Despite being faced with a difficult start to the rally, both McRae and Andersson drove to a commendable finish to secure valuable championship points. We are still in it (the fight for the APRC championship),” said Datuk Abdul Razak Dawood, the Head of PROTON Motorsports.
Akira Bamba-2nd place in 2WD category
PROTON meanwhile, continued to stretch its dominance in the 2WD category, with reigning APRC Junior champion Bamba taking top honors in the 1600cc Satria Neo ahead of another Proton privateer Sanjay Takle. The Junior category was won by local driver Mike Young, also in a Proton Satria Neo, who finished ahead of Bamba.
“All in all, PROTON can be proud of its achievement in Queensland, returning to the event for a second year running to improve its performance from a fourth position last year to clinch a podium finish this time round. And this underlines our commitment to be better,” said PROTON’s Director of Group Marketing, Branding and Motorsports John D. Chacko.
Rally Queensland was contested over a total distance of 863km.
Alister’s action in Satria Neo on Rally Queensland secured 2nd place
Round three of the Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) will move to the 2012 International Rally of Queensland this weekend with PROTON Motorsports fielding an assault in both the overall and two-wheel drive (2WD) categories.
Leading the team’s overall challenge will be the pair of defending APRC championship Alister McRae and Swedish driver PG Andersson on board the Satria Neo S2000.
PG Andersson and Emil Axelsson
Alister McRae and Bill Hayes
McRae returns to the grueling Australian rally having finished fourth last year, while for Andersson, this weekend’s three-day event will be his first time out down under after an inspiring start to his APRC debut.
Rally Queensland will be run over a total distance of 863km consisting of 19 special stages. The longest special stage is some 33.25km while the shortest measures just 2km.
“With two rounds of the APRC contested, we have endured nothing short of a challenging start to the season. While the Proton Satria Neo S2000 has clearly demonstrated it possesses the pace and reliability, we have been rather unfortunate with punctures as was the case in the Rallies of Whangarei and New Caledonia,” said Datuk Abdul Razak Dawood, the head of PROTON Motorsports.
PROTON had clinched second place with Andersson in Rally Whangarei but despite both Andersson and McRae’s demonstrating incredible pace in the Satria Neo S2000, did not go on to secure an overall position in New Caledonia as a result of retirements.
“We finished fourth in the Rally of Queensland last year, again as a result of a difficult first few days. It’s a very tough event and one that will require not only preparation and pace, but good fortune as well,” said Datuk Abdul Razak.
“Having said this, PROTON did however, enjoy a triumphant rally with its 1600cc Proton Satria Neo two-wheel drive cars in Australia last year, clinching first and second places in the 2WD category, This year, we’re back with three entries and will be gunning for even better results.”
Karamjit Singh and kenneth Koh both in 2WD category
Out to defend his title in Australia will be reigning 2WD APRC champion Karamjit Singh and defending APRC Junior champion Akira Bamba in the PROTON Cusco Rally Team 1600cc Satria Neos. The pair will be joined by a third driver, Kenneth Koh.
PROTON has so far enjoyed a brilliant start in its 2012 2WD campaign, when it clinched the top three places in the opening round of the APRC in New Zealand in April. Karamjit won the class ahead of another Proton car privateer with Koh finishing third. Koh, in only his first international rally, also clinched second place in the APRC Junior category.
“It’s been a whirlwind start to the year so far with mixed results and emotions. This is the unpredictable nature of rallying. Proton however, is committed to do better and will preserve for excellence in Queensland. By virtue of being defending champions in both the overall and 2WD categories, we accept the fact that the competition this season will be even stiffer. As we advance to round three in the championship, we are very clear in our objectives and the preparation ahead of the rally for both the S2000 and 2WD teams reflects on fulfilling these goals,” said PROTON’s Director of Group Marketing, Branding and Motorsports John Chacko.
Yes they can.
And that’s exactly what happened when PROTON and Chris took on a chopper earlier this week in the Rally Car vs Helicopter race. The event was part of the pre-rally activities that took place in the International Rally of Queensland, the fourth round of the 2010 FIA-Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC).
The race was held at the Sunshine Coast Airport in Queensland. The airport had to be closed for about an hour for the race and Chris Atkinson beat the chopper in an extremely close battle between screaming tyres and chopper blades.
Check out the cool pics of the race below and there’s more pictures and videos on our Facebook page.
Supported by the Sunshine Coast Regional Council, the rally featured many activities including the local Australian Rally Championship and the Australian Classic Rally Competition. The event attracted thousands of spectators from around the region.
The Satria Neo S2000 fastest in most stages…
At the rally of Queensland last weekend, our team set the pace by winning nearly every stage in the rally. Chris and Alister were initially leading the event that was held in the forests of the Sunshine Coast, almost tasting victory when they were forced to retire due to mechanical problems.
Overall, the team between Chris and Alister won 15 out of the 18 stages for the entire rally. Chris won 11 out of the 18 stages, and retired when his car stalled in a creek crossing while Alister won a total of four stages but retired with mechanical problems on the second stage of the final day of the rally. Not bad achievements at all by our team.
India’s Gaurav Gill in his Mitsubishi won the rally, round four of the 2010 FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship, one minute 16 seconds ahead of Australian brothers Glen and Matt Raymond. Gaurav’s teammate Katsuhiko Taguchi from Japan came in third. Well done, guys!
Stay tuned for the upcoming fifth stage of the APRC, the Indonesian Rally which will be held on 25th – 26th September before the team moves on to the final stage in China in November.
And that’s that, folks. Have a good week ahead 🙂
**Watch the video of the Rally Car vs Helicopter race and view more photos of PROTON Satria Neo S2000 in the International Rally of Queensland on the Official PROTON Satria Neo Super 2000 Facebook page.