Published on January 18th, 2012 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
MONTE CARLO RALLY MARKS PROTON’S RETURN TO THE WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
Drivers Giandomenico Basso and Per Gunnar Andersson will lead PROTON’s return to the World Rally Championship this Wednesday when the Malaysian manufacturer competes at the Monte Carlo Rally for the opening round of the 2012 FIA Super World Rally Championship (S-WRC).
PROTON’s participation in the S-WRC comes 10 years after it first won the FIA Production Car World Rally Championship in 2002. Last year, the Malaysian manufacturer was crowned champion in the Asia Pacific rally Championship (APRC). It will also be PROTON’s second visit to the Monte Carlo Rally after making its debut last year on the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) which is run on a similar but shorter route.
The S-WRC is a companion series to the World Rally Championship and is driven on the same special stages. It is limited to production-based cars homologated under the Super 2000 rules and was first introduced in 2010. The S-WRC also splits the Production World Rally Championship (P-WRC), which was previously open to both Super 2000 and Group N4 cars, into two separate competitions. Proton will compete in five of the seven S-WRC rounds in 2012. The Monte Carlo Rally will be run over 18 special stages totaling 430km of competitive distance in temperatures as low as 5 degrees. This year’s rally also marks the return of the World Rally Championship to Monte Carlo after a three-year absence. The 80th edition of the Monte-Carlo Rally kicks off in the French city of Valence with two stages to be run twice before heading to the mountainous Ardeche, Haut Loire and Drôme regions, and eventually finishing in Monaco.