Published on June 27th, 2011 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
PROTON HEADS TO BELGIUM GUNNING FOR STRONGER RESULTS IN THE IRC
In a back to back weekend of international rallying and fresh from victory in the third round of the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship in New Caledonia, PROTON heads straight for Europe to compete in the Geko Ypres Rally in Belgium for round five of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge.
The team’s charge this time will be led by two-time European Rally Champion Italian Giandomenico Basso and Swedish driver P-G Andersson. Basso is a former winner of the Geko Ypres Rally
“I’m looking forward to this event, I have won here before and it’s always a big challenge with a lot of really fast local drivers,” said Basso. “The last rally we did [the PRIME Yalta Rally] with the car showed that we have made tremendous progress with the Satria Neo S2000. This is the good thing…the car is getting better and better, we are really improving. I want to come out and be fast in Ypres.”
The asphalt rally which runs through the Belgian countryside will be run over 18 special stages totaling 287km, an event which is made even more difficult often due to unpredictable weather. Five of the special stages are also expected to be run in fading light or complete darkness. A total of 31 S2000 rally cars will start the rally out of a total of 124 entries.The Geko Ypres Rally will also be the first time for team mate Andersson who is equally charged by the Satria Neo S2000’s recent victory in New Caledonia and is looking forward to a good run.
“I have never done this rally before, but I have seen the stages and the number of people out there spectating is just incredible. I think we’re in for a rally with a lot of atmosphere!” said Andersson.
“Unfortunately, I think it can be quite tough for drivers to go there without so much experience and try to win the rally; some of the roads are quite specialized. We showed at the last IRC event in the Ukraine that the team is making good progress with the car and we are definitely getting quicker. PROTON of course has proven this with a victory and third place win at last week. I’m optimistic we will continue to do well in Belgium.”
PROTON is also hoping for success in the APRC to carry forward to its IRC campaign.