McRae to drive S2000 Proton in Rally of Indonesia
- 29th September 2009, 8:22am
Australian-based Scotsman, Alister McRae will be the latest rally star to get behind the wheel of Proton's exciting new S2000 rally contender, the Proton Satria Neo.
McRae a former Hyundai works driver now living in Perth will drive the Mellors Elliott Motorsports prepared Satria Neo S2000 on the next round of the Asia Pacific Rally Championship, Rally Indonesia, on October 3-4.
McRae will replace Malaysian rally star Karamjit Singh who gave the Proton its APRC debut in Malaysia last month before crashing out in the early stages.
The former Hyundai works driver and brother of 1995 World Rally Champion, the late Colin McRae, Alister will be partnered by Australian co-driver Bill Hayes.
The Rally of Indonesia is the sixth round of the Asia Pacific Rally Championship but only the second rally for the Proton R3 Malaysia team.
The McRae's surname has been synonymous with rallying for over three decades and Alister has over 20 years of experience including a British national championship to his name.
McRae's recent achievements include a class win in the Targa Tasmania in Australia last year.
"I have had the opportunity to test the Satria Neo S2000 in England recently and am very pleased with the performance of the car," said Alister.
"I will certainly be looking forward to competing in the Proton at the Rally of Indonesia against some of the best drivers in the region."
Proton meanwhile will be relying on the single entry of British front-runner Guy Wilks in the penultimate round of the Intercontinental Rally Championship in San Remo in Italy, as the development of this all-new car, the Satria Neo S2000, continues apace.
With the team's experience of the car growing through every kilometre, expectations are high for more points to come their way after a sensational performance in the IRC round in Russia recently and after showing competitive stage times throughout the season.
The result is an astonishingly small and agile car, which boasts an attractive, and aerodynamic homologated body kit complimenting the eye-catching Satria design.
The Proton S2000 in full rally trim has the smallest frontal area and the lowest roof height of any S2000 car currently homologated even at rally ride height settings.
In a unique concept both the driver and co-driver seat positions have been fixed at the rearmost possible mounting points to maximise the car's weight distribution with the pedal box and steering column being adjustable to suit different crew requirements.
The MEM roll cage design uses 35 metres of lightweight chrome moly tube together with strategic body strengthening resulting in vastly improved torsional bodyshell rigidity and a no-compromise safety cell for the crew. The cleverly designed side crash protection bars are uniquely shaped to aid driver and co-driver access into and out of the car.
The two-litre Proton Super 2000 engine is derived from the 1.8 litre engine fitted to the Waja model and has been further developed by MEM's engineers to produce a reliable 210kW @ 7600rpm (278 horsepower) with a usable power band from 5,500 to 8,500rpm.
The Satria Neo S2000 uses the six-speed sequential Xtrac 4WD transmission system, one of two control transmission systems allowed under FIA rules.
The car is also fitted with an innovative quick-change fuel control cassette, which includes all the fuel pumps, filters and valves, attached to the MEM-designed FIA FT3 safety fuel cell to aid rapid maintenance.
Alcon provides the braking power with the latest Super 2000 alloy 4-pot calipers and ventilated discs which when combined with the Neo's low overall weight of 1150kg gives outstanding brake performance.
The ventilated disc sizes can be maximised for both gravel when the car uses 15 inch rims and tarmac when it steps up to 18 inch rims, however for both simplicity and cost the brake calipers are common to both setups thanks to a simple mounting arrangement.
MEM's engineers have designed the suspension with a relatively conventional layout of wishbone and MacPherson strut making it easy and relatively cheap to maintain while delivering extremely high reliable.
The suspension design has also maximised damper travel achieving both an ultra-low tarmac setup with low levels of body roll and a long-travel gravel setup with enormous ability to soak up the biggest bumps.
A variety of anti-roll bars are also available for both front and rear ensuring the suspension setup can be easily fine-tuned for any rally surface or type.
The latest technology is used in the electrical systems with a state-of-the-art multiplexed wiring system capable of managing the entire car's electronics from a central unit situated in the centre of the car between the driver and co-driver. Apart from the weight saving reduction that this achieves it is simple to operate and boasts automatically resetting circuit breakers for improved reliability.
The result is a car which not only has well-proven technical advances and novel design but also simplicity to ensure the best possible combination of performance and reliability.
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