Leading from the very first stage Scotland’s Alister McRae and co-driver Bill Hayes drove an exceptional event to win the China Rally and win the Asia Pacific Rally Championship drivers and co-drivers title.
It was a clean sweep of trophies for Proton as the Malaysian manufacturer won the manufacturers championship, the Teams Trophy, the Asia and Pacific Cup.
McRae’s team-mate Chris Atkinson won several APRC events in 2011 and the Pacific Cup for Proton, but on the China Rally just couldn’t keep pace with McRae and finished third overall.
Mitsubishi driver Jari Ketomaa from Finland did his best to spoil the Proton party, but finished one minute 14 seconds behind McRae in his Soueast Motors Mitsubishi even when pushing to the maximum!!
After two punctures and losing over 5 minutes on the first day, Indonesian Rifat Sungkar overtook his Cusco-Pertamina team-mate on the final stages to secure enough points to finish third in the APRC drivers Championship.
Proton showed their current dominance of rallysport by also winning the two-wheel drive class with Malaysian champion Karamjit Singh driving a Cusco prepared Proton Satria 1600, backing up Akira Bamba’s winning the APRC’s new Junior Cup at Rally Hokkaido. The junior series is a focus of the future according to Proton personnel.