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LATEST NEWS 12/08/09


PUTRAJAYA, 12 August 2009 – PROTON today announced its return to the coveted FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) since its last participation in 2004. The FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship is one of the premier regional championships in World Rallying.

The PROTON R3 Malaysia Rally Team was introduced today at the premises of the Perdana Leadership Foundation in a ceremony officiated by PROTON Advisor, Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad and witnessed by PROTON Holdings Berhad Chairman, Dato’ Mohd. Nadzmi Mohd. Salleh and Managing Director, Dato’ Haji Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir.

The PROTON R3 Malaysia Rally Team will be made up of APRC champion Karamjit Singh and his regular co-driver Jagdev Singh and a cosmopolitan team of engineers and technicians from Malaysia.

The proven Proton Satria Neo Super 2000 will be fielded for this return to competitive racing. The car recently created news waves when it finished 4th overall at the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) in Russia, driven by two-times British rally champion Guy Wilks. The participation in the IRC marked PROTON’s return to the global rally scene.

Dato’ Mohd. Nadzmi said, “It has been quite a while but we are now ready to return to the rally motorsports arena. With the Satria Neo Super 2000 and with our long time associate Karamjit, we are quite sure that we will put up a strong challenge in this championship.”

“What the new Proton Satria Neo S2000 has achieved thus far while still in the developmental stage has been extraordinary and we hope to continue improving as the year progresses,” he added.

Dato’ Syed Zainal Abidin explained that “As a car maker, our re-entry into the rally scene is significant as we strive to push forward our aspirations to be a global car manufacturer. Motorsports is an avenue for us to showcase our cars, their performance, technology and capabilities. What’s more important is the opportunity to learn and discover our cars’ capabilities in the extreme conditions of motorsports which we will be able to then translate into product development and improvement.”

He continued to say that “As we move on to strengthen our presence in our export markets, our participation in the global rally scene will help to enhance our brand visibility internationally and help build confidence towards our cars and the brand generally.”

The team’s participation in the APRC will see it competing in three rallies starting this Saturday, 15 August 2009 at the Malaysian Rally to be held in Johor followed by Rally Indonesia and China Rally in October and November respectively.

PROTON R3 Malaysia Rally Team’s Participation in the Asia Pacific Rally Championship 2009

15-16 August - Malaysian Rally
03-04 October - Rally Indonesia
14-15 November - China Rally

PROTON, established in 1983, is Malaysia's largest manufacturer of automobiles. With operations in key market centers from UK and Western Europe to the Middle East, and across South-East Asia and Australasia, PROTON produces cars to suit a range of consumer demands and preferences. The offerings include versatile and reliable four-door family vehicles, two-door hatchbacks for the young-at-heart, luxurious and stylish executive sedans, spacious and affordable multi-purpose vehicle, as well as the world-renowned sports cars from Lotus.

PROTON’s inception as a key driver of national development has seen the brand accelerate its learning curve through technology transfer with strategic partnerships and technical collaborations. PROTON cars are now steadily on track to achieving the mission for the future, gearing up to achieve the promise of a marque which builds cars with passion and soul; cars which are a delight to drive and a pleasure to own.
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