Proton Motorsports has just announced that their new 2011 Asia Pacific Rally Champion, Alister McRae will spearhead the team’s defence of their 2012 FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship campaign. The team will also contest the Super 2000 World Rally Championship next year, the first time that Proton has entered the Super 2000 world series.
Alister McRae will be joined in the APRC by twice Junior World Rally Champion P-G Andersson (Sweden). Double FIA European Rally Champion Giandomenico Basso will also be joining the SWRC team and will spearhead the asphalt test programme.
With Alister concentrating on the APRC series, Andersson and Basso will start the first Super 2000 WRC round Rally Monte-Carlo early next month. The balance of Proton’s SWRC programme will include Rally Sweden, Rally New Zealand, Rally Finland, Rally de France, Catalunya Rally and Rally GB.
Derbyshire based Mellors Motorsport boss and Proton Motorsports team principal Chris Mellors said: “It’s great news to have the programme sorted out and to have two major championships to look forward to, with two Satria Neo S2000s in each. The defence of our APRC success is obviously of paramount importance to us, but moving to the Super 2000 World Rally Championship is great for us to show the way the Satria Neo S2000 is developing. We have competed in the IRC for the past few years and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Eurosport and the IRC for providing a fantastic series. Proton is taking a new direction for 2012, but we are still looking at the potential for running customer cars in the IRC.”
“But, for now, we’re fully focused on the Monte for P-G and Giandomenico. This is going to be a really exciting start to what we hope will be a year as full of success as 2011 was. We’re very familiar with the main driver line-up, but as the season progresses we will be trying some different drivers in some of the SWRC rounds.”
Alister commented: “Winning the Asia-Pacific title was one of the highlights of my career and the chance to come back and defend that success with Proton is fantastic for me. I’ve been with the team for a while now and I’ve seen first hand the determination and professionalism which goes into the development of this team. I’m really looking forward to being part of the programme again in 2012, when hopefully we’ll enjoy even more success!”