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PROTON Motorsports dominated last weekend’s Rally of Thailand – with Tom Cave taking his first international win in a Satria-Neo S2000 and the Malaysian manufacturer banking plenty of useful data on the Far Eastern event.
 
With Rally of Thailand tipped for inclusion in next year’s FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship, PROTON entered Cave and his co-driver Craig Parry in an effort to find out more about the event. The British pair won 11 from 13 stages to take the runaway victory by more than 10 minutes. Despite searing heat and humidity, the Satria-Neo S2000, like the crew, didn’t miss a beat.
 
PROTON Motorsports team principal Chris Mellors said: “Thailand is a key market for PROTON and this was a rally we were very interested to look at. The event was great, well-organised and very, very good stages. I think it’s fair to say these were the toughest conditions Tom had driven in, but he did a very good job for us. He was a minute and a half faster than anybody on the first stage proper and managed the gap with a sensible and very professional drive until the finish.
 
“As far as we were concerned, it was mission accomplished on all fronts: we learned plenty about a rally we’d like to see on the APRC calendar next year and Tom and Craig took a dominant win for PROTON and the Satria-Neo S2000.”
 
Cave added: “I am delighted we were able to deliver the result for PROTON, justifying the team’s faith in us – but I have to say, this was the hardest weekend of rallying I have ever done. The stages were very demanding. One 28-kilometre stage had 94 junctions, so I was very busy. When I saw the times I knew we just had to maintain that pace and not make any mistakes. The feeling in the car was fantastic.”
 
PROTON will continue its defence of both the manufacturers’ and drivers’ APRC titles on the Malaysian Rally 2012 (July 12-14), when P-G Andersson and Alister McRae return to the factory Satria-Neo S2000s. 

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