Round 3 of the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) ended with Team MRF’s Chris Atkinson scoring a home win at the International Rally of Queensland. Defending APRC champ Alister McRae finished second for Proton in the Australian event, ahead of veteran driver Brian Green. Proton’s PG Andersson finished fourth.
Starting the final day in ninth, Andersson produced a fighting performance to just miss out on a podium finish. Running in second overall up until the sixth special stage, the Swede was forced to concede valuable time due to an oil leak.
“We dropped some time on the first day, when we could smell some fuel, so we stopped and checked this. Like Alister, we have picked up some points here from this rally – and it’s been an event I enjoyed. Things are coming together and when we get the clean run, everything is ready for this car to win, we have the speed and the Proton has the potential, this is for sure,” PG said.
“We’re happy to leave the event with second place and some more points. We did have a couple of things with a misfire on the first day, which cost us a bit of time, but the big thing here is that we have come away with points and we’re still in there fighting for the championship,” McRae added.
Meanwhile, Proton clinched victory in the two-wheel drive category with reigning APRC Junior champion Akira Bamba. The Japanese finished ahead of Proton privateer Sanjay Takle. The Junior category was won by New Zealander Mike Young, also in a Proton Satria Neo.
The 2012 APRC has reached halfway point, with rallies in Malaysia, Japan and China to come. Skoda driving Chris Atkinson leads the table ahead of teammate Gaurav Gill. Their Team MRF also tops the teams standings. Proton’s title defence isn’t over yet, but they need a strong showing at their home event.