National car manufacturer Proton Holdings Bhd looks set to start its 2011 Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) campaign on a high note as its mean machine gears up for a strong finish at the season-opener Rally of Malaysia in Johor from April 1 to 3.Read the full news by Chips Yap from Motortrader below.
PROTON AIMS HIGH IN 2011 APRC.
Proton’s rally team is all fired up for the season-opening round of the 2011 Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) in Malaysia this coming weekend.
The team will field two Satria Neo Super 2000 rallycars piloted by former World Rally Championship (WRC) drivers, Alister McRae and Chris Atkinson.
“Beyond conventional marketing, motorsports provides car manufacturers like Proton what can be defined as ‘emotional leverage’; first attracting fans, enticing them to learn more of the brand and product, establishing brand following, and hopefully translating into ownership desire and later brand loyalty,” said Proton Holdings Berhad Group MD Dato’ Sri Haji Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir at the official launch of the team’s 2011 campaign this afternoon.
“This is extremely important for a relatively small global player like Proton as it allows us to make greater inroads into markets in which we are not yet present or are currently confined to a small representation,” he added.
According to the Head of Proton Motorsports, Datuk Abdul Razak Dawood, the 2011 rallycar has benefitted from an entire year devoted to testing and development which resulted in tremendous improvements in terms of power, performance and reliability.
“We have proven that the Satria Neo S2000 is a rally-winning car and in the hands of Alister McRae and Chris Atkinson, we are out this year to prove that it is also a championship-winning contender. There is nothing more exciting than a home event, and with all the preparation and development we have undertaken, the team looks forward to a strong result at the coming Rally of Malaysia,” said Datuk Abdul Razak Dawood who, in earlier years, was also responsible for the PERT team.
The 2011 APRC season will also see the entry of several Group N Satria Neo 1600 rally cars. The cars have been jointly-developed by Proton and renowned Japanese tuner CUSCO which had them homologated for international competition. The cars are for sale to competitors in Japan taking part in both the APRC and Japanese Junior Rally Championship.
In 2010, Proton finished second overall in the APRC Manufacturer’s Championship with its best result being a 1-2 victory in the APRC category at the China Rally.Proton’s team has also won the APRC title three times in 2001, 2002 and 2004.
The APRC is expected to provide Proton with enormous exposure as with the championship is televised in over 129 countries, reaching an estimated audience of more than 390 million viewers worldwide.
2011 Asia Pacific Rally Championship Calendar
April 1 – 3: Malaysia
May 13 – 15: Australia
June 17 – 19: New Caledonia
July 15 – 17: New Zealand
Sep 30 – Oct 2: Japan
Nov 4 – 6: China