NATIONAL car maker Proton has positioned itself well to be among the key players in the World Rally Championship (WRC) with the launch of the Proton Malaysia R3 Rally Team yesterday.
The team will begin this season with a formidable lineup of drivers featuring Scotsman Alistair McRae and Australian Chris Atkinson. Their main target is to capture the FIa Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) title for the team.
The quest begins with the Malaysian round of the APRC in Johor next weekend.
McRae and Atkinson have a stable of four Proton Satria Neo Super 2000 spec cars for the mission, two of which will be based in this region for APRC purpose, while the other two will be based in Europe to serve them in the Intercontinental Rally Championship (IRC).
Proton Motorsports general manager Datuk Abdul Razak Dawood, the man behind the successful Petronas Eon Racing Team (PERT) that bagged multiple APRC and World Production Car Rally Championship titles before it folded in 2005, is at the helm of this team.
The Proton Satria Neo in S2000 spec, was built by UK-based Mellors Elliot Motorsport (MEM). The car was tested in several rounds of the IRC last year and made its Asian debut in the Malaysian Rally 2009.
"We've decided that from now on, rallying is going to be the platform for our global branding and marketing. Thus we're going to be more aggressive," said Abdul Razak.
"We have a car that has been tested and is competitive enough for us to go for titles. So, that is what we're going to do."
Abdul Razak said the future of rallying lies in the S2000 spec cars, which will soon replace the WRC-spec cars which are much more expensive to build and run, and which he said has been a deterrent for manufacturers to sustain their involvement.
"From next year, it is already a different spec for WRC, which is for 1,600cc turbo-charged cars, based on the S2000 spec. So, we've positioned ourselves well to be ready when the time comes, to take the step into the WRC," said Abdul Razak.
The S2000-spec cars are four-wheel drive vehicles of 2,000cc in engine capacity, running without turbo. Proton is among seven manufacturers registered to compete in the fast-growing IRC this season.
The 31-year-old Atkinson, who finished fifth overall in the WRC in 2008, said the cars are much more exciting despite producing lower torque compared to current WRC cars, but development will only see S2000 spec cars getting faster.
After the Malaysian Rally 2010 next weekend, the team continue their challenge in the second round of the APRC in the Rally of Hokkaido in Japan on May 22-23.
source - NST dated April 14 2010 written by Arnaz M Khairul.
Just a quick update. I bought a used intake taken from Honda EG6 siR. I plan to do 'frankenstein' project which is to modify the intake and then fit it into my gsr (4g93T) cylinder head. This is not a 'plug and play' job. Need to make some adjustments on the b16's flange to fit it in. Maybe some of you will say why? but why not right =p. After comparing the gsr intake with B16 intake, i can see clearly how well the design of the Honda intake since the intake runner are much bigger , straighter and shorter than gsr intake. Honda has design this intake to 'high rpm type' according to some website which i cannot recalled so i think it will works with my 300/288 camshaft. At first, i planned to use Honda Skunk2 intake but my budget permits me to proceed with the plan =p . Pix below.
Btw, i've sent the intake to a friend of mine to modify it since i've seen his drag car use this intake and it performed quite well in the race. So, i believe he will do a good job to modify it and plug it in my engine cylinder head. I also ask him to 'sandblast' the intake too so that the intake will look clean as new. Honda's fuel rail will be used also with the project. Only the injectors from 4g93 remain the same.
I will update more about the intake when it finish. I just take 2-3 days to finish it but the guy who is going to modify the intake is now very busy preparing his rally car for this upcoming event :( so i need to wait. Nevermind then. Hopefully the project will turns out well.