Proton boss Chris Mellors has vowed to solve the electrical issue which blighted both Satria Neo S2000s on last weekend’s International Rally of Queensland.
Chris Atkinson and Alister McRae both led the second round of the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship, but both suffered alternator-related failures. McRae managed to get his car through the event to finish fourth – dropping more time when he drowned out at a final-day watersplash.
“The alternators were overcharging,” said Mellors. “It’s a problem we had on the Monte Carlo Rally earlier this year. Since then we have homologated new parts and we thought we had this sorted out. We have plenty of testing since then and never had anything like this happen again. Even out in Australia, we had no problems in the pre-event test. Typically, as soon as the numbers go on the doors, it happens.
“We’ll go home and work harder on this problem to get it sorted out. We showed we had the pace again here, we were on for a one-two early in the event, but it wasn’t to be.”
Mellors praised the efforts of both drivers adding: “From the start we saw how comfortable and quick Chris [Atkinson] was going and then Alister’s run through the opening day, after he’d dropped around 50 seconds with an electrical problem, was great he just kept pulling the time back until he got into the lead. Everything looked very strong here and we have to work on that to build on the pace the car has.”
Atkinson and McRae finished first and third respectively on the opening round of the APRC in Malaysia last month.
Photos by Marcel Stawiczny MARSTA Photography and APSMtv