The Proton Motorsports team ended its 2012 FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship season with a victorious double podium on the Rally Longyou in China. Proton's reigning APRC champion, Alister McRae maintained his dominance of the second half of the season, taking his second win from three rallies and his third podium from four rallies.
The Scotsman and his Satria-Neo S2000 were, once again, on stunning and pace-setting form through China this weekend. And McRae's win was backed-up perfectly by flying Finn Juha Salo who collected his best ever finish in China with his place in the sister Satria.
The rally was, as usual, one of the toughest rounds of the Asia-Pacific season, with the crews having to deal with ever-changing grip levels on offer from stages which ran through bamboo plantations and across some of the most technically challenging concrete surfaces. But the Protons dealt with the terrain faster and more precisely than any other manufacturer.
Both the factory Satria-Neo S2000s ran with DMACK tyres and Proton Motorsports was delighted to be able to partner with the Chinese firm in first and third places on the most important rally in its domestic calendar. Neither the Protons or the DMACKs suffered any issues across the 13 stages in China, allowing McRae and his co-drover Bill Hayes to further extend their extraordinary dominance of this event.
The Scot and Australian have never been beaten in China and became the first crew ever to complete a hat-trick of wins in Longyou — a great way to round off Proton's season in the APRC.
Although Rally Longyou in China marks the end of APRC 2012, Proton Motorsports will continue to fight for a World Rally Championship title, in a battle which reaches its conclusion in Catalunya Rally, on November 8th till 11th. A third victory of the season in Catalunya will be enough to seal the FIA Super 2000 World Rally Championship for Proton Motorsports driver PG Andersson.
Andersson is well-versed in world titles, having already lifted the silverware for the Junior World Rally Championship on two separate occasions previously. A Spanish success for the Swede would be the perfect end to a very strong season for Satria and Proton Motorsports.