Proton close to APRC driver decision

The identity of Alister McRae’s MEM Proton team-mate should be revealed before the end of the month, according to team principal Chris Mellors.

The Bakewell-based team starts its season with the Satria Neo S2000 on the forthcoming Rally Malaysia and will then compete in the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship and the Intercontinental Rally Challenge. McRae has been confirmed in one of the two Protons for 2010, but Mellors said deciding on the second driver has been far from an easy task.

World Rally winner Francois Duval, former Subaru factory driver Chris Atkinson and IRC star Anton Alen are believed to be high on what Mellors admits is a long list.

“We’ve been absolutely overwhelmed by the number of people who have wanted to drive the car,” said Mellors. “I think the [second place] result on Rally of Scotland last year made people realise that we had a good car and those people who have driven it have loved it. All of that, however, hasn’t made it an easy choice to decide on the second driver. We’re in the process of filtering through all of the data from all of the drivers we’ve had.”

Mellors added that the level of interest could only be good news for Proton and the Malaysian firm’s continued participation at the highest level of rallying.

“Drivers are coming to us seeking out an involvement with Proton after they’ve seen the company’s long-term vision and forward-thinking in the sport,” he said. “Drivers want to align themselves with a manufacturer with intentions in Super 2000 and world rallying.”

Source: David Evans –