More FIA Super 2000 World Rally Championship (SWRC) action for Proton, this time at Rally New Zealand which happens this weekend. With one victory after two rounds of the SWRC, Proton drivers PG Andersson and Alister McRae are hoping for a repeat of the dominant drive at Rally Sweden.
Andersson, who drove the Satria Neo S2000 to its maiden SWRC victory in his home rally, is currently fourth in the FIA SWRC Drivers’ Standings after with 25 points, while McRae is in eighth. The team chose not to compete in the Rally of Portugal due to Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) commitments.
Run over three days, Rally New Zealand will comprise of 22 special stages with a competitive distance of 413.94 km. Today’s Leg 1 will see drivers taking on eight SS with another seven stages on Saturday. Sunday’s third and final leg will be contested over seven special stages. The event starts in downtown Auckland before heading south to the beautiful coastal town of Raglan, around which Leg 1 is centered.
“It’s great to be back in SWRC again and what better place than New Zealand! This is a fantastic rally with incredible roads. The special stages are always really smooth, which means it’s not so demanding on the car – allowing you to have quite a straight race with the other drivers. With it being winter in New Zealand, though, this means we could be in for some rain or some changing weather. Let’s just see what comes. We are certainly there to chase another SWRC win,” PG said.
Rally New Zealand will also be somewhat of a homecoming for the Proton team, which had enjoyed a good run at the APRC Rally of Whangarei in March, when Andersson and McRae finished second and fourth respectively. While this event’s stages may not be identical, it will be similar enough for both Andersson and McRae to feel comfortable. Good luck guys!