Tuesday, January 4, 2011

VIDEO: Proton Launches R3 Rally Team

  • Proton to campaign full-season of Intercontinental Rally CHallenge with the S2000
  • Team also takes part in full APRC calendar
  • Syed Zainal expects podium finishes all around

Proton will kick off its 2011 international rallying campaign with the Rally of Monte Carlo from 18-22 January which will be the opening round of this year’s Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC).

The Proton Motorsports team today received the Jalur Gemilang from Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Bin Cheek. Also present were PROTON Advisor, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and PRroton Holdings Berhad Group Managing Director  Datuk Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir.

Full story and video after the jump

Proton will compete in the full season of the IRC and Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) with the Satria Neo Super 2000 rally car.

The national car manufacturer’s IRC campaign on the European front will be led by Chris Atkinson and newly-signed Per-Gunnar Andersson, while Alister McRae will lead the team’s charge in the APRC which will get underway with the Rally of Malaysia from 1-3 April.

Atkinson was formerly with the Subaru World Rally Team and is also two-time winner of the Asia Pacific Super 1600 Championship in 2003 and 2004. Newly-signed Andersson is a double FIA Junior World Rally Champion having driven for the Suzuki and Ford World Rally Teams. McRae, whose family name has been synonymous with rallying for over three decades and a former Mitsubishi World Rally Team driver, has played an instrumental role in the testing and development of the Satria Neo S2000 since 2009 which culminated with a 1-2 victory recently in the APRC category of the China Rally in November.

“Motorsports is one of several key strategies being pursued to enhance the PROTON brand especially in markets that we are actively exporting to, and PROTON’s objective of participating in both the IRC and APRC will significantly support our aspiration of becoming a respected and competitive global car manufacturer,” said PROTON Group Managing Director Dato’ Haji Syed Zainal Abidin.

“Rallying not only serves as a proving ground for PROTON, but the viewership for both the IRC and APRC range in the millions, hence this brings invaluable brand exposure to PROTON and its partners on a global level. In addition, it also enables us to promote the brand and increase awareness in new and potential markets.”

In conjunction with the launch of its 2011 IRC and APRC campaign, PROTON Motorsports also welcomed on board the Yasmin Group and Sime Kansai Paints as team partners. The contribution of both companies amounted to RM1 million in sponsorship for the team.

The Satria NEO S2000 made its competition debut in the IRC 2009, and despite being a vehicle that was still undergoing development, consistently posted top 10 finishes. The team’s best finish in 2009 was a second placing at the Rally of Scotland and a fourth placing in the Rally of Russia. In 2010, PROTON went on to secure second place in the APRC Manufacturer’s Championship with its best finish being a 1-2 victory in the APRC category at the recent Rally of China and a 2nd place finish in the APRC category of Rally New Zealand.

PROTON last competed as a factory-backed team at the 2004 Rally of Canberra. Throughout its years of international rallying, PROTON has won the APRC title three times in 2001, 2002 and 2004. In 2002 PROTON also won the FIA Production Car World Rally Championship on its debut.


PROTON is proud to carry the Malaysian flag globally – with Alistair McRae, Chris Atkinson and Per-Gunnar “PG” Andersson as the drivers for the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) and FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) for the 2011 International Rally season. The IRC is the fastest growing Rally Championship with a huge following worldwide and the APRC is one of the premier regional championships in World Rallying.

PROTON’s rally cars participate in high profile international events around the world. We’ve been to the Intercontinental Rally Challenge(IRC) and FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC). These events, which are held in all types of terrain and weather also provide a great testing ground for the development of the Proton Satria Neo S2000 which is critical in our journey to produce a winning car.

Alistair McRae,  Chris Atkinson and PG Andersson are considered as one of the most exciting driver line-ups to be fielded for both the IRC and APRC. Their wealth of experience in the World Rally championship coupled with many rally, stage wins and podium finishes will give PROTON and Malaysia a much needed boost in their Global rally campaign.

The team was consistently running in the top 10 positions while racing against more established Manufacturer Teams such as Peugeot, Skoda, Abarth, Subaru, Mitsubishi, etc.

In its short history, the Team has achieved a 2nd place finish in the Rally of Scotland, a 4th place finish in the Rally of Russia, 2nd place in the Rally of New Zealand, and a 1-2 finish in the Rally of China.
As a car maker, our re-entry into the rally scene is significant as we strive to push forward our aspirations to be a global car manufacturer. Motorsports is an avenue for us to showcase our cars, their performance, technology and capabilities. What’s more important is the opportunity to learn and discover our cars’ capabilities in the extreme conditions of motorsports which we will be able to then translate into product development and improvement.





                                                  Date of birth          :      December 1970
                                                  Nationality               :    Scotland
                                                  Marital Status       :      Married
                                                  Hobbies                    :    Mountain-biking, jet skiing, skiing, motorcycling,
                                                                                       running around after his kids

Career in brief:

·        1989/90 Scottish Rally Championship, Vauxhall Nova
·        1991 Vauxhall Nova GSi Challenge, Vauxhall Nova
·        1993 British Rally Championship, Subaru Legacy
·        1994/95 Works driver, Nissan Motorsport, Nissan Sunny GTi British Rally Championship, selected WRC rounds
·        1996/98 Works driver, Volkswagen Motorsport, VW Golf GTi British Rally Championship, selected WRC rounds
·        1999/01 Works driver, Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai Coupe & Hyundai Accent WRC
·        1999 FIA Formula 2 World Rally Championship
·        2000/01 FIA World Rally Championship
·        2002/03 Works driver, Mitsubishi Ralliart, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo7 FIA World Rally Championship
·        2004 FIA Production World Rally Championship
·        2005/08 Various events worldwide. Wins in South Africa, China, UK and Australia

Notable Achievements:

·        1989 Scottish 1300 Rally Champion, Challenger Champion
·        1990 Scottish 1300 Rally Champion
·        1992 Group N British Rally Champion
·        1995 British Rally Champion
·        1999 Joint Formula 2 Asia-Pacific Rally Champion
·        Number of World Rally Championship events competed: 78
·        Number of WRC Formula 2 wins: 7
·        Number of WRC Formula 2 podiums: 10
·        Number of WRC Group N wins: 2





Date of birth       :              September 1968
Nationality          :              Australian
Marital Status     :              Married
                                            Hobbies               :            Spending time with family, golf, cycling,
                                                                                          running, swimming

Career in brief:

1st Outright 2008 Targa West Classic Rally – Co Driver for Alister McRae
3rd  PWRC and 8th Outright. 2006 Rally Australia – Co Driver            
1st Privateers Cup- 2006 & 07 Australian Rally Championships – Co-Driver
2nd Outright 2005 Australian Rally Championship – Co-Driver
1st Outright 2004 Australia Cup – Co-Driver
1st Group APRC 5 – 2004 Australian Rally Championships
3 Times Western Australia Rally Co-Driving Champion


Date of birth       :              November 1979
Nationality          :              Australia
Marital Status     :              Single
Career in brief:

·        2002 - Winner, Australian Privateers Cup
·        2003 - Winner, Asia Pacific Super 1600 Championship
·        2004 - Second, Australian Rally Championship
·        2004 - Winner, Asia Pacific Super 1600 Championship
·        2005 - 12th, World Rally Championship
·        2006 - 10th, World Rally Championship
·        2007 - 7th, World Rally Championship
·        2008 - 5th, World Rally Championship
·        2009 - 14th, World Rally Championship

 Notable Achievements:

·        2003 Champion of the FIA Asia-Pacific Super 1600
·        2004 Champion of the FIA Asia-Pacific Super 1600
·        2005 Rally Japan – 3rd Overall
·        2008 Rally Monte Carlo – 3rd Overall
·        2008 Rally Mexico – 2nd Overall
·        Number of World Rally Championship events competed: 67
·        Number of World Rally Championship stage wins : 40
·        Number of World Rally Championship points scoring finishes: 32



                                                         Date of birth          :              January 1969
                                                         Nationality             :              Belgium
                                                         Marital Status        :              Married
                                                         Hobbies               :             My daughters, Watches, Reading,
                                                                                                         Music, travelling and motorsport                                                

Career in brief:

·        1987 1st rally
·        1990 Belgian gr.N rally champion (Mitsubishi Ralliart team Belgium)
·        1991-1993 Belgian + WRC championships co-driver to Bruno Thiry (Opel team Belgium)
·        1994-1998 WRC, co-driver to Bruno Thiry, Ford Motorsport World Rally Team (3rd RAC RALLY 1994, 3rd Sanremo Rally 1996, 3rd  Rally Catalunya 1996, 3rd RAC Rally 1998)
·        1999 WRC + ERC, co-driver to Bruno Thiry, Subaru World Rally team (European rally champion for co-drivers)
·        2000 ERC, co-driver to Bruno Thiry, Citroen Sport
·        2001 WRC, co-driver to Bruno Thiry, Skoda Motorsport
·        2003-2004, co-driver to François Duval, Ford World Rally team (3rd Rally Turkey 2003, 3rd Rally Corsica 2003, 3rd Rally Monté-Carlo 2004, 2nd Rally Mexico 2004, 3rd Rally Argentina 2004, 2nd Rally Deutschland 2004, 3rd Rally Australia 2004)
·        2005 WRC, co-driver to François Duval, Citroen Sport
·        2006 WRC, co-driver to Stephane Sarrazin, Subaru World Rally team
·        2007-2008, co-driver to Chris Atkinson, Subaru World Rally team (3rd Rally Monté-Carlo 2008, 2nd Rally Mexico 2008, 2nd Rally Argentina 2008, 3rd Rally Jordan 2008, 3rd Rally Finland 2008)

Notable Achievements:

·        Number of World Rally Championship events competed: 150
·        Number of World Rally Championship podiums: 17



                                                         Date of birth          :              March 1980
                                                         Nationality             :              Sweden
                                                         Hobbies               :             Motorsports, waterskiing

Career in brief:

·        1990 Starts driving in rallycross with a Saab 99.

·        1999 Starts rallying in a Volkswagen Golf. Wins 12 local events.

·        2001 Sticks with the Seat but it's an unlucky season with no meaningful results.

·        2002 Wins Norwegian Group N Championship in a Group N Renault Clio. Runner-up in the Swedish Group N Championship. World Rally Championship debut in Sweden, wins class.

·        2003 Moves on to Super 1600 Renault Clio. In World Rally Championship, leads Super 1600 in Finland and finishes 6th in Sanremo. Also contests Catalunya and Britain

·        2004 Joins Suzuki. Wins Junior World Rally Championship and Swedish Super 1600 title.

·        2005 Entered from MSE, 14 rounds. Winning the 4th round of JWRC, Acropolis Rally.

·        2006 Drove the whole JWRC, and it looked like he would be Junior Champion once again, but in Turkey he was disqualified. Entered from SSEUK, finished 3rd in the Junior World Rally Championship.

·        2007 P-G and Jonas drove, once again, the whole JWRC with Suzuki. They took the gold medal and became the first crew to win the Junior Rally Championship title for the second time! After only competing on five of the six events.

·        2008 P-G have piloting the all new Suzuki SX4 WRC car for the whole 2008 season.


                                                         Date of birth          :              August 1983
                                                         Nationality             :              Sweden
                                                         Strengths             :             Goal-oriented and calm

Career in brief:

·        2006 Junior World Rally Champion Co-Driver

Already at the age of five Emil knew that he wanted to become a co-driver. Only days after he turned 13 in 1996 he did his first rally together with his father in an Opel Kadett GTE. Emil´s first rally didn´t last long, as they got engine problems after only two stages. But the debut had made a big impression on him. He was trapped.

Eight years later Patrik called him and asked for help during one race – the new-formed team was successful from the beginning and fought for victory. What was mentioned to be a single rally has now lasted for several years.


Making Strides on and off track

Famously known as PROTON’s sportiest product to date, the Satria Neo won an award for its sleek and sporty design. Likewise, the Satria Neo has been successful in domestic racing, as well as regionally; having triumphed in its class at the Merdeka Millenium Endurance Race 2008. It also secured the Championship for both Driver and Team in the 2008 AFOS ATCS1500Max Championship.  At the 2009 Intercontinental Rally Challenge, the Proton Satria Neo S2000 achieved a 4th overall finish in the Rally of Russia, and a 2nd overall in the Rally of Scotland.  In the 2010 season, the Satria Neo S2000 finished 2nd in Rally New Zealand and culminated in a 1-2 finish in the Rally of China.
The new Proton Satria Neo Super 2000 rally car raises the performance bar for the rapidly expanding FIA Super 2000 rally series. Based on the Proton Satria Neo, the Proton Super 2000 Rally Car has been constructed to conform with the latest FIA homologation specifications. The car can be supplied in either tarmac or gravel specification as required.
PROTON partner Mellors Elliott Motorsport, (MEM), has designed the new Proton Satria Neo Super 2000 rally car, raising the performance bar for the rapidly expanding FIA Super 2000 rally series.
The concept was developed by using a combination of innovative engineering designs, the 25 years of experience of the team’s technical staff but, crucially, also the input from the team’s owner and extremely successful driver, Chris Mellors. The result is an astonishingly small and agile car which from the very outset was designed for the driver.

With an attractive and aerodynamic package for the front bumper, wings, rear bumper and rear spoiler complimenting the eye-catching Satria design, the Proton S2000 can achieve in full rally trim the smallest frontal area and the lowest roof height in its class even at rally ride height settings. Driver and Co-driver seat positions are fixed at the rearmost possible mounting points to maximise the car’s weight distribution but with the pedal box and steering column both adjustable to suit different pilots. The rollcage design uses 35 metres of lightweight Chrome Moly tube together with strategic body strengthening resulting in vastly improved torsional bodyshell stiffness and a no-compromise safety cell for the crew. The cleverly designed side crash protection bars are uniquely shaped to aid driver and co-driver access into and out of the car.

The 2 litre Proton Super 2000 engine is derived from the 1.8 litre engine fitted to Proton’s Waja model and has been further developed by engineers to produce a reliable 278 bhp @ 7600rpm with a usable power band from 5,500 to 8,500rpm. Combined with the best 6-speed sequential 4WD Super 2000 transmission currently available, (the “532” version from market leaders Xtrac), the car sets new standards for engine performance and driveability.
The fuel system innovates too with a quick-change fuel control cassette, (which includes all the fuel pumps, filters and valves), attached to the FIA FT3 safety fuel cell to aid rapid maintenance.

Alcon provides the braking power with their latest Super 2000 alloy 4-pot calipers and ventilated discs which combined with the Neo’s low overall weight of 1150kg gives astoundingly short braking distances. The ventilated disc sizes are independently maximised for both Gravel, (15” rims), and Tarmac, (18” rims), but for both simplicity and cost the brake calipers are common to both setups thanks to a simple mounting arrangement.
Engineers have designed the suspension with a relatively conventional layout of wishbone and MacPherson strut, which means it will be easy and relatively cheap to maintain whilst remaining super-reliable. However, the design has cleverly maximised damper travel to such an extent that the bump stops are the only part that stops the body sills hitting the ground on full bump travel! This translates into achieving both an ultra-low tarmac setup with go-kart levels of body roll and a long-travel gravel setup with enormous ability to soak up the biggest bumps. With various anti-roll bars available for both front and rear and with MEM’s 25 years of rally experience, the suspension setup can be easily fine-tuned for any rally surface or type

The latest technology is used in the electrical systems with a state-of-the-art Multiplexed wiring system capable of managing the entire car’s electronics from a central unit ideally placed in the centre of the car in-between the driver and co-driver. Apart from the weight saving reduction that this achieves, it is simple to operate and, with automatically resetting circuit breakers, this is technology and reliability at its best.
The result of all this is a car which not only has well-proven technical advances and novel design but also has simplicity where appropriate to ensure the best possible combination of performance and reliability.


The existing Satria Neo bodyshell is extensively modified to accept the S2000 components including the 4 wheel drive system. It is then strengthened considerably to comply with FIA regulations by fitting a safety roll cage using 35 metres of ChroMo Steel Tube.


The engine is based on the Waja 1.8 engine with racing internals and increasing the capacity to 1998cc, which is positioned transversely and producing a power output of 278bhp at 7600 rpm.


The transmission is a four wheel drive system specifically developed by Xtrac for S2000, using a 6 speed sequential gearbox with 3 plated limited slip differentials, and handbrake release system.


The Brake callipers are Alcon 4 piston calipers front and rear. The front discs are 350mm for the tarmac version and 300mm for the gravel version. The rear discs are identical for both specifications.

Electrical System

Featuring the GEMS integral engine ECU and power management system with data logging and glass dash display.


The suspension is MacPherson strut and wishbone design by MEM using Dynamics dampers. Anti Roll bars front and rear.


Fitted with 8 x 18 inch alloy wheels for tarmac and 6.5 X 15 inch alloy wheels for gravel


1150 Kg for the tarmac version and 1200 Kg for the gravel version


Proton Super 2000 Rally Car


No Cylinders
91mm x83.5..
Max Power (bhp)
Max Torque
200 lb ft
Normally Aspirated
backgroundNo and Position of Cams
2 ohc
Front transverse

Clutch (Manufacturer)
No of Plates
Xtrac“532” 4WD Super2000 6 speed sequential

Front   gravel
Rear   gravel

Rack and Pinion Power Assisted

GEMS Multiplex System

Power Management

Data Logging

Glass Dash Display

MacPherson strut


Proton Super 2000 Rally Car


8 x18 asphalt    6.5 x 15 gravel

Length (mm)
Width (mm)
Wheelbase (mm)
Weight (kg)
1150 (Tarmac), 1200 (Gravel)


The Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) is a rallying series organised by SRW Ltd and sanctioned by the FIA, aiming to "give new opportunities to young or amateur rally drivers competing in recognized regional and international rallies, while offering organisers an innovative TV format concept, created by Eurosport." This series focuses on Group N and Group A spec cars up to 2000cc (including Super 2000, R2 and R3).

The series was born in 2006 with the name International Rally Challenge, switching in 2007 to its current name.

2011 IRC Calendar

18-22 January
Rallye Monte Carlo - New Zealand
11-13 March
Rally de los Alerces - Argentina
06-08 May
Tour de Corse – France
02-04 June
Prime Yalta Rally – Ukraine
23-25 June
Geko Ypres Rally – Belgium
04-06 August
Rali Vinho Madeira - Portugal
26-28 August
Barum Czech Rally Zlin – Czech Republic
09-11 September
Mecsek Rallye – Hungary
22-24 September
Rallye Sanremo – Italy
14-16 October
RACMSA Rally of Scotland - Scotland


The Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) is firmly established as one of the premier regional championships in World Rallying. The quality of events and the level of competition continues to go from strength to strength.
Taking place in one of the most diverse regions of the world, in a climate of rapidly expanding economies, the FIA APRC continues to attract drivers and teams from across the world. Some of the best Gp N drivers in the world feature in this exciting and exacting championship, where television audiences around the world are measured in hundreds of millions.
Each of the seven events of 2011 APRC has its own unique characteristics, adding to the allure of rallying in this part of the world. From the dust and dirt of Queensland, to the tropical paradise of New Caledonia, to the wintery conditions of Whangarei, to the home of Gp N rallying in Japan, to the steaming jungles and plantations of Malaysia and Indonesia, to the majesty of China, APRC offers each and every participant something to savour.  With its diversity of climate, topography, culture, language, cuisine and history, APRC is truly a regional championship offering the very best of what this region has to offer.

2011  APRC Calendar

01-03 April
Rally of Malaysia - Johor
13-15 May
Rally of Australia – Queensland
17-19 June
Rally of New Caledonia – Noumea
15-17 July
Rally of New Zealand – Whangarei
30 September – 02 October
Rally of Japan – Hokkaido
04-06 November
Rally of China - Longyou

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