PROTON return to home soil for Round 4 of the Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) in search of a second successive victory in the Malaysian Rally in Johor this weekend.
Leading the charge for Proton will be defending APRC champion Alister McRae who finished third in Malaysia last year, and teammate PG Andersson who will make his debut in the Malaysian Rally.
In preparation for what is the most important event of the season, Proton have homologated several new parts and arrive in Johor Baru with what will be a Satria Neo S2000 running on evolved specifications in pursuit of a repeat of 2011's dominant performance in which the team clinched a double podium victory.
The Satria Neo S2000 also arrives at the Malaysian Rally on the back of a crushing win in the recently-concluded Rally of Thailand where British driver Tom Cave had taken a 10-minute victory.
"This is always one of the toughest rounds of the championship and really nothing can prepare you completely for the conditions. The team have worked really hard on the car and we certainly felt a difference when we were competing [in the SWRC] in New Zealand. With the new parts in the car, it's going to be even better," said McRae.
"We have new parts in the car for this event, we have done a lot of testing ahead of this homologation and there is definitely a good feeling in the car. The changes we have made will definitely give Satria Neo S2000 better traction in the corners," said Andersson.
Proton will also field three other drivers; Malaysian and reigning 2WD APRC champion Karamjit Singh, Japanese driver and defending APRC Junior champion Akira Bamba, and APRC debutante Kenneth Koh in the 1600cc Satria Neos of the Proton R3 Cusco Rally Team.
The Malaysian Rally kicks off today with the ceremonial 2.5km Angsana super special stage designed for spectators and is located next to the Angsana Shopping Complex in Johor Baru. And for the first time in decades, the first two of the Angsana super special stages will be held under the floodlights at night.