Proton will have a new pair of hands driving the Satria Neo S2000 at the upcoming Monte Carlo Rally from 18-22 January. It has been announced that two-time Junior World Rally champion Per-Gunnar Andersson will drive for Proton at the 2011 season opener of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge.

“It’s great to be joining the Proton team for Monte, I can’t wait to get the testing started. It’s been a couple of years since I was on this rally the last time, but I have always made good stage times there and it’s a rally I like.

“Drivers tend to like grip from the car, so a dry Monte would be nice, but if we have a lot of snow it’s always fantastic to drive in these conditions,” said the Swede, who is already hoping to extend his time with Proton.

“For now, we are with Proton for Monte, but we will be talking straight after the rally to see what is possible for the future. I’m very happy to join a team which is looking forward to a good future in the sport,” he added.

Andersson, a former Suzuki works driver, has been linked to race seats with Ford and MINI in next year’s WRC. The other Satria competing in Monte Carlo will be driven by former Subaru WRC man Chris Atkinson. Alister McRae doesn’t feature in this rally, but will be part of Proton’s assault on the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship. Proton ended APRC 2010 on a high after capturing a 1-2 finish in China.