Malaysian carmaker Proton has achieved what its Japanese competitors Mitsubishi and Subaru could not at the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) and that's by being the first carmaker to sweep the series' eight major titles.
At the recent China Rally, Alister McRae and co-driver Bill Hayes claimed their fourth victory of the six-round season in a Proton Satria Neo S2000 to win not just the race but the APRC driver's and manufacturer's titles for the 2011 season.
The other titles that Proton has bagged for the season are:
FIA Pacific Cup for Drivers - Chris Atkinson for Proton Motorsports
FIA Asia Cup for Drivers - Alistair McRae for Proton Motorsports
FIA Asia-Pacific Junior Cup for Drivers - Akira Bamba for Proton Cusco Rally Team
FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Cup for Drivers - 2WD - Karamjit Singh for Proton Motorsports
FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Cup for Manufacturers - 2WD - Proton
Asia-Pacific Rally Championship - Teams Trophy - Proton Motorsports
"Excelling in competition serves a bigger purpose in that significantly supports our aspiration in becoming a competitive global car manufacturer," said Proton Holdings Group's managing director Dato' Sri Haji Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir. "Motorsports is one of several key strategies being pursued to enhance the Proton brand especially in markets that we are actively exporting to. In addition, it also enables us to promote the brand and increase awareness in new and potential markets."