The Ypres Rally
Jun 30, 2010
Returning to the Ypres Rally for the first time after 15 years, Alister McRae still failed to see eye-to-eye with the Belgian event, he retired with an engine problem aboard his Proton Satria Neo S2000 on the fourth stage.
Ypres was the former British Rally Champion’s first time competing in the Proton on asphalt and he arrived at the start upbeat following a positive pre-event test in the Satria. His hopes were dash at the start of the second loop of stages, when, astonishingly all three Protons retired in the same test.
Data from all three cars is being analysed at the PROTON R3 Rally Team’s base in the UK, with a solution being prepared in time for this weekend’s Rally of Whangarei (New Zealand), the Malaysian firm’s next outing in the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship.
McRae said: “What a bizarre way to end a rally – I’ve never had my team-mates retire so close to me with the same problem before. Obviously, this is really disappointing for everybody. We’re all putting in a great deal of effort, you know it’s us drivers out there who are driving the cars and being seen by everybody, but there’s a whole team of people back in the UK who are working all hours to make this happen. The engine problem came out of the blue, we hadn’t had anything to indicate it was coming at all. The engineers are looking at the data now and I’m sure they’ll be able to read more into it once they’ve digested everything. It’s such a shame, it was great to be on such a high-profile event and the rally hadn’t started too badly. We’d made some changes to the car’s set-up during the first loop of stages and that helped; it’s frustrating to know what we could have done with the data from a full event. Like I said, it’s tough at the moment, but I’ve been in situations like this before and it’s about being patient – the results will come with the kind of hard work being put in.”
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