Alister McRae has won a dramatic Malaysian Rally in Proton Satria S2000, where the top spot changed four times.
Current APRC points leader Chris Atkinson took the initial lead but part way through stage 3 his MRF Skoda Fabia burst a water-pipe spraying hot cooling fluid through the cabin. Atkinson and co-driver Stephan Prevot fixed the problem in the stage but lost over 22 minutes in the process, dropping to 10th place.
Proton’s PG Andersson took over the lead and at the end of day 1 was 1 and 22 seconds in front of Indian driver Gaurav Gill. Gill had lost over a minute on the second stage, with an off-road excursion and was fighting his way back up the leader board.
On the first stage of day 2, Gill’s event ended in a cloud of steam when grass caught in the radiator and the Skoda over-heated.
On the next stage rally leader PG Andersson retired with an electrical problem in his Proton, allowing team-mate Alister McRae to over the top spot and win the event.
Atkinson was fighting his way back up through the field , eventually finishing in third place.
The Australian was unable to reel in Cusco driver Yayu Sumiyama who finally finished a Malaysian Rally, after trying three times before.
Brian Green was 4th and by finishing every event this year, continues to hold 3rd place on the points table with 71, while McRae moves into second with 81 points. Atkinson still has a massive lead on the rest of the drivers with 126 points.
Malaysian rally star Karamjit Singh was 5th overall and winner of the two-wheel drive category in a Proton Satria 1.6.
Singh’s team-mate Akira Bamba takes over the lead in the Junior Cup after earlier points leader Michael Young crashed into a Palm Oil tree in the slippery conditions on Day 1.
Sanjay Takale in his Dream India Rally Team Proton, continued his 100% finish record in 7th place, while MRU Motorsport team-made Ivan Iskander from Indonesia was 8th.
After a difficult event Kenneth Koh was the only other finisher in the APRC category.
Final Results – APRC 2012 – Malaysia Rally
1. Alister McRae / Bill Hayes, Proton Satria Neo S2000, 02:57:31.5
2. Chris Atkinson / Stephane Prevot, Team MRF Skoda Fabia S2000, +00:25:25.1
3. Brian Green / Fleur Pedersen, Subaru Impreza WRX STI, +00:26:36.6
4. Karamjit Singh / Vivek Ponnusamy, Proton Satria Neo, +00:27:23.1
Story and photos: Brian Young – APRC.TV