Category Archives: SWRC

Super World Rally Championship

PROTON RALLIES TO SECOND PLACE IN NEW ZEALAND

New Zealand, 24 June 2012 – PROTON’s PG Andersson fought off a difficult and challenging Rally New Zealand to chalk up his second successive podium finish in the Super 2000 World Rally Championship (SWRC) contenders.

Andersson drove the Satria Neo S2000 to second place in the three-day rally after setting a blistering pace and competitive stage times.

Fastest S2000 car – PG Andersson

The Swedish driver began promisingly on the first special stage of Leg 1 leading the S2000 class and posting 8th fastest time overall, just 1.4 seconds behind overall rally leader Petter Solberg in the world rally car. The Satria Neo S2000 was again the fastest S2000 car on the third and final day of rallying which consisted of 22 special stages.

Rally New Zealand was run over a competitive distance of 413.94km. Leg 1 on Friday saw drivers taking on eight special stages with another seven special stages on Saturday. Sunday’s third and final leg was contested over seven special stages.

Andersson who had rallied the Satria Neo S2000 to its maiden victory in SWRC at his home rally in Sweden, is currently fourth in the FIA SWRC Drivers’ Standings after two rounds with 25 points, while McRae is in eighth position. The team had elected not to compete in the Rally of Portugal, the third round of the SWRC, due to commitments in the Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC).

Alister McRae caught in action during SWRC New Zealand 

The PROTON Motorsports team has shown great speed on this latest round of the Super 2000 World Rally Championship, especially on today’s final day special stages. While the roads closer to Auckland today are all new for the rally this year, and are quite different in nature from the rest of the route, the Satria-Neo S2000 – and both Andersson and Alister McRae have been fastest.

Despite enjoying competitive times, pacing himself to as high as fourth in the SWRC class and 12th overall, McRae was forced to bow out of the rally early due to mechanical problems.

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ICE AND SNOW AWAITS PROTON IN RALLY SWEDEN

PROTON’s Per Gunnar Andersson arrives for a homecoming this weekend to lead the Satria Neo S2000 to its maiden Swedish Rally for round two of the 2012 FIA Super World Rally Championship (S-WRC). Andersson’s preparations in the Satria-Neo S2000 couldn’t have gone better, with a Super 2000 victory on the KNA Rally Finnskog in Norway yesterday. With 42 entries starting, he not only finished first against the Ford and Skoda teams of the same category, but also in fourth overall in a rally that also included the Citroen and Ford World Rally Teams.

Rally Sweden will also see the return of Scottish veteran Alister McRae to the World Rally Championship circuit. McRae was crowned last year’s Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) winner alongside co-driver Bill Hayes.

 

“We’ve put the disappointment in Monte Carlo behind us. It’s quite obvious that the Satria Neo S2000 has the pace and performance, and we’re back in Sweden to prove this point,” said Andersson whose charge to victory in the SWRC category in Monte Carlo was halted by an engine fire three special stages to the finish.

 

“Rally Sweden is an incredibly exciting event which will see competitors battling it out on ice and snow for what is a proper winter rally. We have a competitive package, and alongside experience as well as local knowledge, we’re confident the Satria Neo S2000 will live up to challenge.”

 

Andersson last won Rally Sweden in 2010 competing in the S-WRC category. He also led the rally last year in a Ford Fiesta during the opening stage, but was forced into early retirement when he rolled his car. Andersson had also won in Sweden in 2006 contesting in the Junior World Rally Championsip (JWRC).

 

For McRae, returning for a stint in the S-WRC represents a big comeback. He has competed in Rally Sweden seven times, finishing as high as fifth overall and last drove in the event in 2004.

“It’s fantastic to be back. Rally Sweden will also give us a chance to test the 2012 Satria Neo S2000 ahead of the start of this year’s APRC,” said McRae.

Rally Sweden has attracted a total of 85 entries and will be contested over 24 special stages covering a competitive distance of 360km.

 

The rally begins with a 1.9km super special stage in Karlstad on Thursday and continues on Friday with nine special stages which will see competitors driving through classic Norwegian stages in the town of Kongsvinger.

 

Day three of the rally will see drivers tackling eight special stages and crossing the county border to Dalarna to run classic routes in Sagen and Fedriksberg, while the fourth and final day of rallying will be run over six special stages in the area of Hagfors.

 

“It has been a phenomenal start to the year for PROTON in S-WRC, and we’re looking forward to keeping the momentum going strong. There is no time for disappointments, just results and this is precisely what we will be focused on in Rally Sweden,” said Datuk Abdul Razak Dawood, Head of Proton Motorsports.

 

PROTON is due to compete in five of the seven S-WRC rounds in 2012. The S-WRC is a companion series to the World Rally Championship and is driven on the same special stages. It is limited to production-based cars homologated under the Super 2000 rules and was first introduced in 2010.

 

“In Monte Carlo, PROTON produced some incredible results in the face of adversity and we bring this optimism and fighting spirit to Sweden.” said John Chacko, Director of Group Marketing, Branding and Motorsports. “Rally Sweden is a rare occasion you will see a Proton car being driven on Scandinavian roads as much as it will be another milestone for PROTON in our pursuit of excellence and to create greater brand awareness globally.”

S-WRC: PROTON WINS RALLY SWEDEN!

PROTON celebrating the winning of SWRC Sweden 2012!

PROTON rallied to its first ever victory in the 2012 FIA Super World Rally Championship (S-WRC) with Per Gunnar Andersson claiming a dominant drive in the Satria Neo S2000 to finish more than three minutes clear of his nearest rival in Rally Sweden.

Andersson finished the 24 special stages 3 minutes 35 seconds ahead of Ford’s Craig Breen and 4 minutes 49 seconds in front of Skoda’s Pontus Tideman. He was also placed 12th overall ahead of some of the main World Rally Championship (WRC) competitors en route to clinching his third successive win at his Swedish home event.

Andersson and co-driver Emil Axelsson led the S-WRC class from start to finish, making the most of local knowledge, experience and a competitive package to steer the Satria Neo S2000 to victory in the snowy, icy and cold conditions of the Swedish countryside.

“What a phenomenal weekend it has been and a well deserved victory for PROTON after only two rounds of the S-WRC. We knew that we had a very competitive car at the very start of the season in Monte Carlo and we have proven just that in Sweden. The Satria Neo S2000 was dominant throughout the weekend,” said Andersson, who looks back on what could have possibly been two victories in two rounds (of the Championship) for PROTON had it not been for an engine fire three stages to the finish at the season-opening Monte Carlo Rally.

Rally Sweden attracted the participation of 85 entries and covered a competitive distance of 360km over four days.

“Andersson drove a dominant rally to make an impactful introduction for PROTON in Sweden and the World Rally Championship circuit, underlining both the team and brand’s commitment to excel,” said John D. Chacko, PROTON’s Director of Group Marketing, Branding and Motorsports.

Victory in Sweden promotes PROTON to officially joining not only the ranks of rally’s elite, but is its first in the European hemisphere since the Satria Neo S2000 made its competition debut in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) in 2009. PROTON’s best finish up until now had been second place at the 2009 IRC Rally of Scotland, although the Satria Neo S2000 did go on to dominate and win the 2011 Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) driver’s and manufacturer’s titles.

“It has been an incredible journey to get here (victory for PROTON). As we celebrate this moment, I assure you that development work continues to ensure that the Satria Neo S2000 enhances its competitiveness throughout the season. It is still too early in the season and there is still plenty to be done to if Andersson is to make a strong bid for this year’s S-WRC title,” said Datuk Abdul Razak Dawood, the Head of Proton Motorsports.

With Monte Carlo and Sweden now over, PROTON is due to compete in another three of the seven S-WRC rounds in 2012.

S-WRC: PROTON LEADS FROM FORD AND SKODA IN RALLY SWEDEN

SWEDEN, 11 February 2012 – The Satria Neo S2000 of Per Gunnar Andersson currently leads the 2012 FIA Super World Rally Championship (S-WRC)
contenders in Rally Sweden with more than a two minute lead over his nearest rival.

At the end of nine special stages, Andersson has the advantage of a 2 minute 6 second lead over Ford’s Craig Breen, with Skoda’s Pontus Tideman a further 1 minute 59 seconds behind. Andersson is also him 13th overall in the rally. The three drivers were head to head up until the eighth special stage when Andersson made the best of his home rally to stretch his lead to 1 minute 25 seconds over the 20.97km Finnskogen route. Andersson set fastest times in five of the day’s nine special stages.

PG Andersson/Emil Axelsson at a corner in Proton Satria Neo S2000

 

“We are going really, really fast. The car is better than ever and we’re going for it!,” said an ecstatic Andersson, who together with co-driver Emil Axelsson in the Satria Neo S2000 has driven PROTON to its second consecutive rally lead after Monte Carlo for a phenomenal start to the 2012 S-WRC season.

Andersson last won Rally Sweden in 2010 competing in the S-WRC category. He led last year’s rally in a Ford Fiesta during the opening stage but rolled his car into retirement. Andersson had also won in Sweden in 2006 contesting in the Junior World Rally Championsip (JWRC).

The day’s rallying however, brought about mixed fortunes for PROTON. Reigning Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) winner Alister McRae became stuck in the snow 13km into special stage three and was unable to continue.

Several other drivers were also caught out by the tricky conditions, especially after hitting the soft snow banks. McRae however, will rejoin the rally the following day. His participation also marks his return to the World Rally Championship circuit after a long break with his last and seventh appearance in Sweden in 2004.

“Going by the results of the first two days and looking back on what we very nearly achieved in the opening round in Monte Carlo last month, Andersson and the Satria Neo S2000 has certainly driven home a strong message that PROTON
is a serious contender in this year’s S-WRC championship,” said Datuk Abdul Razak Dawood, Head of Proton Motorsports.
“Where we are today and with all the development that has taken place, it is without a doubt, PROTON is a step up from where we were last season in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC).”

Rally Sweden continues with eight special stages and crossing the county border to Dalarna to run classic routes in Sagen and Fedriksberg, while the fourth and final day of rallying will be run over six special stages in the area of Hagfors. The rally has attracted a total of 85 entries and will be contested over 24 special stages covering a competitive distance of 360km.

ICE AND SNOW AWAITS PROTON IN RALLY SWEDEN

S2000 action on ice and snow

 

PROTON’s Per Gunnar Andersson arrives for a homecoming this weekend to lead the Satria Neo S2000 to its maiden Swedish Rally for round two of the 2012 FIA Super World Rally Championship (S-WRC).  Andersson’s preparations in the Satria-Neo S2000 couldn’t have gone better, with a Super 2000 victory on the KNA Rally Finnskog in Norway yesterday.  With 42 entries starting, he not only finished 1st S2000 against the Ford and Skoda teams of the same category, but also in 4th overall in a rally that also included the Citroen and Ford World Rally Teams.

Rally Sweden will also see the return of Scottish veteran Alister McRae to the World Rally Championship circuit. McRae was crowned last year’s Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) winner alongside co-driver Bill Hayes.

“We’ve put the disappointment in Monte Carlo behind us. It’s quite obvious that the Satria Neo S2000 has the pace and performance, and we’re back in Sweden to prove this point,” said Andersson whose charge to victory in the SWRC category in Monte Carlo was halted by an engine fire three special stages to the finish.

“Rally Sweden is an incredibly exciting event which will see competitors battling it out on ice and snow for what is a proper winter rally. We have a competitive package, and alongside experience as well as local knowledge, we’re confident the Satria Neo S2000 will live up to challenge.”

Andersson last won Rally Sweden in 2010 competing in the S-WRC category. He also led the rally last year in a Ford Fiesta during the opening stage but was forced into early retirement when he rolled his car. Andersson had also won in Sweden in 2006 contesting in the Junior World Rally Championsip (JWRC).

For McRae, returning for a stint in the S-WRC represents a big comeback. He has competed in Rally Sweden seven times, finishing as high as fifth overall and last drove in the event in 2004.

“It’s fantastic to be back. Rally Sweden will also give us a chance to test the 2012 Satria Neo S2000 ahead of the start of this year’s APRC,” said McRae.

Rally Sweden has attracted a total of 85 entries and will be contested over 24 special stages covering a competitive distance of 360km.

The rally begins with a 1.9km super special stage in Karlstad on Thursday and continues on Friday with nine special stages which will see competitors driving through classic Norwegian stages in the town of Kongsvinger.

Day three of the rally will see drivers tackling eight special stages and crossing the county border to Dalarna to run classic routes in Sagen and Fedriksberg, while the fourth and final day of rallying will be run over six special stages in the area of Hagfors.

“It has been a phenomenal start to the year for PROTON in S-WRC, and we’re looking forward to keeping the momentum going strong. There is no time for disappointments, just results and this is precisely what we will be focused on in Rally Sweden,” said Datuk Abdul Razak Dawood, Head of Proton Motorsports.

Proton is due to compete in five of the seven S-WRC rounds in 2012. The S-WRC is a companion series to the World Rally Championship and is driven on the same special stages. It is limited to production-based cars homologated under the Super 2000 rules and was first introduced in 2010.

“In Monte Carlo, PROTON produced some incredible results in the face of adversity and we bring this optimism and fighting spirit to Sweden.” said John Chacko, Director of Group Marketing, Branding and Motorsports. “Rally Sweden is a rare occasion you will see a Proton car being driven on Scandinavian roads as much as it will be another milestone for PROTON in our pursuit of excellence and to create greater brand awareness globally.”

PROTON DRIVES INTO TOP 10 ON OPENING DAY IN MONTE CARLO RALLY

PROTON enjoyed an inspiring start to its 2012 FIA Super World Rally Championship (S-WRC) campaign by rallying into the top 10 at the end of the first four special stages at the Monte Carlo Rally.

Driver Per Gunnar Andersson paced the Satria Neo S2000 sensibly to finish the drama-riddled Day One of the Rally which saw several of the World Rally Championship frontrunners retiring or suffering major setbacks.

Citroen’s Sebastien Loeb inherited the lead at the Monte Carlo Rally after pace setter Jari-Matti Latvala rolled his Ford into retirement. Loeb holds more than a minute’s lead over Spaniard Dani Sordo who damaged the suspension of his Mini, followed by Petter Solberg in the Ford in third while Sebastien Ogier in the S2000 Skoda is fourth.

PROTON too was caught up in the day’s drama when Italian driver Giandomenico Basso’s charge into a sixth gear corner at the opening special stage was blinded by the sun sending him crashing into a wall and forced into an early retirement.

Andersson will start the second leg of the Monte Carlo Rally with a four-minute advantage over S-WRC rival Craig Breen in the Ford Fiesta.

“The car was fantastic throughout the day, definitely stronger and a lot quicker than the package we had last season, but the goal will be to drive sensibly to make sure that we finish in Monte Carlo,” said a delighted Andersson.

“In Monte Carlo it is crucial for the tyres to have a better grip in the icy weather and wet conditions. This means we have to be a bit more cautious on the throttle and acceleration not to mention that braking can also be very tricky. What is most important is you have to feel good and safe about the car you’re driving, and I must say that the Satria Neo S2000 has provided me precisely with that degree of confidence.”

Meanwhile, Datuk Abdul Razak Dawood, the Head of PROTON Motorsports, said to have the Satria Neo S2000 finishing in the company of the top three WRC contenders the likes of Citroen, Ford and Mini, was a tremendous boost for the team and Malaysian car manufacturer.

“We have four more days of rallying in Monte Carlo, but the results of the first four special stages have nevertheless made it an impactful debut for PROTON on the S-WRC circuit and above all, a strong indication that we are progressing in the right direction in terms of development of the Satria Neo S2000.”

Positions after SS4:

Pos  Driver                         Team/Car            Time/Gap

1.  Sebastien Loeb           Citroen                 1h30m30.1s

2.  Dani Sordo                   Mini                       + 1m04.2s

3.  Petter Solberg              Ford                      + 1m05.2s

4.  Sebastien Ogier           VW Skoda            + 2m21.1s

5.  Evgeny Novikov          M-Sport Ford       + 2m26.5s

6.  Mikko Hirvonen           Citroen                 + 2m30.0s

7.  Francois Delecour      M-Sport Ford       + 2m49.9s

8.  Pierre Campana          Mini                       + 4m09.7s

9.  Ott Tanak                      M-Sport Ford       + 4m14.0s

10.  P-G Andersson         PROTON              + 4m33.8s

 

 PG shakedown Monte 2012

 

About PROTON Motorsports Division

PROTON Motorsports specializes in the research, development and production of race cars, special and performance-driven road going models and performance parts for the Proton range of vehicles.

 

About PROTON

PROTON, established in 1983, is Malaysia’s largest manufacturer of automobiles, and the only full-fledged OEM car manufacturer in South-East Asia. With operations in key markets from UK to the Middle East, and across South-East Asia and Australasia, especially in countries like China and Iran, PROTON produces cars to suit a range of consumer demands and preferences.

Its offerings include versatile and reliable four-door family vehicles, two-door hatchbacks for the young-at-heart, luxurious and stylish executive sedans, spacious and affordable multi-purpose vehicles, as well as the world-renowned sports cars from Lotus. Most importantly, PROTON models are now developed with Lotus Engineering, offering customers superior ride and handling experience in every drive.

PROTON’s inception as a key driver of national development has seen the brand accelerate its learning curve through technology transfer with strategic partnerships and technical collaborations. By listening to the needs of customers, PROTON cars are now steadily on track to achieve the mission for the future, with PROTON set to become a marque which builds cars with passion and soul; cars that are a delight to drive – and a pleasure to own.

MONTE CARLO RALLY MARKS PROTON’S RETURN TO THE WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP

 

Drivers Giandomenico Basso and Per Gunnar Andersson will lead PROTON’s return to the World Rally Championship this Wednesday when the Malaysian manufacturer competes at the Monte Carlo Rally for the opening round of the 2012 FIA Super World Rally Championship (S-WRC).

PROTON’s participation in the S-WRC comes 10 years after it first won the FIA Production Car World Rally Championship in 2002. Last year, the Malaysian manufacturer was crowned champion in the Asia Pacific rally Championship (APRC). It will also be PROTON’s second visit to the Monte Carlo Rally after making its debut last year on the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) which is run on a similar but shorter route.

The S-WRC is a companion series to the World Rally Championship and is driven on the same special stages. It is limited to production-based cars homologated under the Super 2000 rules and was first introduced in 2010. The S-WRC also splits the Production World Rally Championship (P-WRC), which was previously open to both Super 2000 and Group N4 cars, into two separate competitions.

“We’ve come a long way in our S2000 rally programme since it started in 2009, and to be part of the S-WRC and the 2012 World Rally Championship is incredibly rewarding for what has been both a challenging and successful journey for PROTON on the international rally arena,” said Datuk Abdul Razak Dawood, Head of Proton Motorsports.

“We start the Monte Carlo Rally and the 2012 S-WRC season with what is a winning car, having clinched last year’s APRC title, and given the positive results we have achieved in testing throughout the winter break, we look forward to a strong and competitive season ahead.”

Proton will compete in five of the seven S-WRC rounds in 2012.

“At PROTON, we are firmly committed to be better whether it is in the manufacturing of our vehicles, caring for our customers, or excelling in motorsports.  Our participation in this year’s S-WRC is a manifestation of this commitment having competed in the APRC and IRC over the course of the last two years. Rally Motorsports offers a unique and dynamic showcase for PROTON’s brand, products and technology which can also be leveraged by PROTON for global branding, marketing purposes and the re-ignition of R3,” said John Chacko, Director of Group Marketing, Branding and Motorsports.

The Monte Carlo Rally will be run over 18 special stages totalling 430km of competitive distance in temperatures as low as 5 degrees. This year’s rally also marks the return of the World Rally Championship to Monte Carlo after a three-year absence.

The 80th edition of the Monte-Carlo Rally kicks off in the French city of Valence with two stages to be run twice before heading to the mountainous Ardeche, Haut Loire and Drôme regions, and eventually finishing in Monaco.

“We have completed a lot of development to the 2012 Satria Neo S2000 particularly with the engine where we now have more torque. The most important is that I feel good driving the car and I believe it will be very good start to the season for us.  I am pretty sure we have a winning car this year,” said Andersson who joins PROTON’s S-WRC campaign after a full season with the Malaysian manufacturer in the 2011 IRC.

“At the Monte Carlo Rally, you can never be fully prepared for what can happen. It is always unpredictable and is common for drivers to rush into making mistakes. The crew also play an important role in ensuring we select the right tyres for the rally.  If we have a rally without major problems, I think we will be in the running for a good finish.”