Proton will contest the SWRC in 2012
while PROTON and McRae will defend their APRC titles together in 2012
PROTON Motorsports is delighted to announce it will make a full defence of its multiple FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship titles and contest the Super 2000 World Rally Championship in 2012.
Scotsman Alister McRae will lead the APRC attack, defending the drivers’ title he won at the wheel of a Satria Neo S2000 last month. McRae will be joined in the APRC by two-time Junior World Rally Champion P-G Andersson (Sweden).
Both McRae and Andersson will form part of the Malaysian manufacturer’s team for the SWRC, the first time PROTON has entered the Super 2000 world series, where they will be joined by Italian asphalt star and double FIA European Rally Champion Giandomenico Basso. Basso, like McRae and Andersson, is a familiar face in the PROTON team, will also spearhead the asphalt test programme.
Andersson and Basso will start the first Super 2000 WRC round Rally Monte-Carlo early next month.
The balance of PROTON’s SWRC programme will include Rally Sweden, Rally New Zealand, Rally Finland, Rally de France, Catalunya Rally and Rally GB.
PROTON Motorsports team principal Chris Mellors said: “It’s great news to have the programme sorted out and to have two major championships to look forward to, with two Satria Neo S2000s in each. The defence of our APRC success is obviously of paramount importance to us, but moving to the Super 2000 World Rally Championship is great for us to show the way the Satria Neo S2000 is developing. We have competed in the IRC for the past few years and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Eurosport and the IRC for providing a fantastic series. PROTON is taking a new direction for 2012, but we are still looking at the potential for running customer cars in the IRC.
“But, for now, we’re fully focused on the Monte for P-G and Giandomenico. This is going to be a really exciting start to what we hope will be a year as full of success as 2011 was. We’re very familiar with the main driver line-up, but as the season progresses we will be trying some different drivers in some of the SWRC rounds.”
FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Champion Alister McRae said: “Winning the Asia-Pacific title was one of the highlights of my career and the chance to come back and defend that success with PROTON is fantastic for me. I’ve been with the team for a while now and I’ve seen first hand the determination and professionalism which goes into the development of this team. I’m really looking forward to being part of the programme again in 2012, when hopefully we’ll enjoy even more success!”
More on WRC