Proton is back in Scandinavia for round five of the FIA Super 2000 World Rally Championship, and the team will compete in the Neste Oils Rally Finland with two Scandinavian drivers – regular Swede PG Andersson and Finnish driver Juha Salo.

Rally Finland has only been won by a non-Nordic driver four times in WRC history, so local knowledge is key. The event is also reputed to be one of the fastest and most specialised rallies on the WRC calendar, consisting of 18 special stages run on gravel over a competitive distance of 303.52 km.

Proton has tested extensively ahead of Rally Finland, having worked on new specifications for the Satria Neo S2000 that won the APRC Malaysian Rally last month. More recently, PG and Salo drove the car for two days in Estonia and are due to shake down their rally cars at an official test close to the rally HQ in Jyvaskyla.

“After driving on such slow and twisty roads in Malaysia, coming to Finland is completely the opposite – the roads here are incredibly fast. Like all drivers, I love to fly and this is one of my favourite rallies of the year. It’s a fantastic feeling to take off in the car when you are absolutely flat out in sixth gear,” Andersson said.

“I need to win this SWRC round and I feel we have the speed to do that – and that was evident at the last SWRC event in New Zealand. In Malaysia during the APRC, we saw that the new homologation of the Satria Neo S2000 was working well and it’s clear after the test that it’s already really helping us through the high-speed roads as well,” he added.

For Salo, the objective will be to finish the rally in what will be his first time out, not only for Proton, but in an S2000 rally car, after making the switch from Group N production class cars.