Monday July 16, 2012
McRae bags second straight win for Proton in Malaysian Rally
JOHOR BARU: Alister McRae scored a victory for Proton for the second successive year in the Malaysian Rally en route to his first win of the season in the Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC).
The defending APRC champion drove the Satria Neo S2000 to an impressive finish, starting conservatively on the first day but progressively pacing himself before piling on the pressure on the third and final stretch yesterday.
Finishing second overnight at the end of Leg 2, McRae was fastest on the opening stage of the third and final leg, completing the 12.46km Tai Tak Court House stretch 10:37.3 faster than Proton team-mate P.G. Andersson.
Andersson, who led the rally, retired at the end of special stage 10. His withdrawal allowed Proton R3 Cusco Rally Team’s Karamjit Singh to move into fourth in the front-wheel drive 1600cc Satria Neo, ahead of team-mate Akira Bamba, who was in seventh place.
They were followed by India’s Sanjay Takle in another Satria Neo and Kenneth Koh, trailing eighth and ninth respectively.
By special stage 12, McRae’s lead had grown to 24 minutes ahead of second placed Brian Green in a Subaru Impreza WRX STi while Karamjit moved up a notch to third.
Chris Atkinson in a Skoda Fabia S2000 placed fourth, 25 minutes adrift.
“We had a brilliant and trouble-free run to the finish. We lost some time due to a puncture on the second day but were able to maintain a competitive pace and progressively push ahead to reduce the deficit significantly,” said McRae.
“With unpredictible weather, the Malaysian Rally certainly reaffirms itself as a challenging event.” he added.
The win is a testimony of Proton Satria’s strength and performance in one of the world’s toughest rallies. With a distance of 235.28km, the Malaysian Rally comprised 15 special stages run on gravel, taking competitors through some of the most gruelling terrains on the APRC tour.