Published on April 19th, 2010 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Proton’s Quest For Rally Dominance
Proton’s quest for global recognition as a serious world car manufacturer moves full steam ahead with their successful rally team headed by Chris Mellor and 2 very experienced world class rally drivers, Alistair McRae and Chris Atkinson. These two world class drivers are looking for outright wins in this year’s Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) and we are sure they will get their wins. Alistair McRae and Chris Atkinson are considered as the strongest pairing for the APRC season for 2010 by the foreign media. Their wealth of experience in more than 45 rounds of rally championships and many stage wins and podium finishes will give Malaysia’s Proton the advantage to aim for the podium wins.
Question, what happened to PERT (Petronas Eon Racing Team)? Well, they had a hugely successful run during their podium reign where their wins could easily be compared to the heydays of Ferrari in FI where there were literally unbeatable race after race. Today the PERT team is no more in existence and their champion driver is driving for another team using a competing car brand and sponsored by a competing Lubricant company.
Our reservation is the missing point of having a Malaysian rally championship driver in the seat of a Malaysian made and owned car. Were Malaysian drivers (The Flying sikh and even new upcoming talent Adrian Lam) given a chance to test drive for this team? Were Malaysians allowed to work with the research and development of this team and also work in the preparation and running of these cars? These are answers that I think many Malaysian rally enthusiast would love answered.
The FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship 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.
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. Based on the Proton Satria Neo, the MEM Proton Super 2000 Rally Car has been constructed by MEM to conform with the latest FIA homologation specifications. The car can be supplied to either tarmac or gravel specification as required.
Chassis: 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.
Engine : 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.
Transmission: 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.
Brakes: 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.
Suspension: The suspension is MacPherson strut and wishbone design by MEM using Dynamics dampers. Anti Roll bars front and rear.
Wheels: Fitted with 8 x 18 inch alloy wheels for tarmac and 6.5 X 15 inch alloy wheels for gravel.
Weight: 1150 Kg for the tarmac version and 1200 Kg for the gravel.