Proton warns rivals it will get even harder to beat

Proton team boss Chris Mellors has warned the squad’s Super 2000 World Rally Championship rivals that there is a lot more to come from the Satria Neo.

The car has been the SWRC pacesetter so far this year after winning the Asia Pacific Rally Championship in 2011. P-G Andersson was dominating in Monte Carlo until a late fire halted him, but made up for it with a commanding win in Sweden.

Mellors, whose MEM concern is behind the Proton project, underlined that there were still plenty of improvements planned for the Satria and big gains to be made.

“The car is halfway through its development programme so far and we’re winning rallies at the highest level,” he said. “That’s fantastic news.”

Datuk Razak Dawood, head of Proton Motorsports, said the performances this year had proved to the rallying world what Proton is capable of.

“We were close to achieving our maiden victory in Monte Carlo, if not for the small fire in the finishing stages which robbed us of the victory,” he said. “Our victory in Sweden is very sweet and testimony to the effort and hard work, especially on engine development and testing during winter done by MEM.

“In line with our philosophy of, ‘committed to be better,’ we have proven that we now have a better car and team capable of giving the big boys a good fight.”

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