Proton Success In Rally Sweden
|Author: James Rudd||Published: 13th February 2012 12:27|
Proton Satria at the Swedish Rally
Proton firmly put behind them the disappointment of the Monte Carlo season-opener when Andersson was forced into retirement while leading the rally's Super class.
There was no repeat this time as Andersson finished a commanding 3:35.8s ahead of Ireland's Craig Breen in a Ford Fiesta, steadily increasing the lead over yesterday's final six stages.
The Satria Neo S2000 of Andersson also finished 12th in the overall classification as the Swede replicated his home win in 2010.
It was also a remarkable achievement for Proton, who last enjoyed a win at the WRC in the Group N production car championship through Karamjit Singh in 2002.
Proton Motorsports head Datuk Abdul Razak Dawood was more pleased than relieved, after the misfortune last month, as the Satria Neo showed what the team is capable of achieving this season.
"We have come a long way to get to this stage and claim the win. It should have happened in Monte Carlo but we saw here the pace of the car was better than some of the World Rally cars.
"We might be a smaller team with a smaller budget but we were able to run them close. The car has proven to be reliable and fast," said Abdul Razak after the finish in Karlstad yesterday.
With the Satria Neo showing good pace, Andersson and co-driver Emil Axelsson took advantage to build his lead and gained two spots overall, earning Abdul Razak's praise.
"PG (Andersson) was fantastic. He went faster today (yesterday) after the suspension problem was fixed. He drove a sensible race and he was close in Monte Carlo too.
"He saw that the car had pace in it and the opportunity was there to go for it and he took it," said Abdul Razak.
Finland's Jari-Matti Latvala claimed the overall win for Ford as he finished in 3:18:28.3s, 16.6 seconds ahead of second-placed Finn Mikko Hirvonen in a Citroen.
World champion Sebastien Loeb retained the championship lead by finishing sixth after multiple delays earlier in the weekend.
South Northamptonshire plays host to one of Proton UK's premier dealerships based at The Garage at Blakesley where director Colin Hilbourne said, "The Swedish Rally success just goes to show the pedigree that Proton cars hold in the UK - both in terms of value for money and levels of comfort and performance."