China Rally Longyou preview 2012
Oct 22, 2012
Defending FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Champions PROTON Motorsports will be chasing a third successive APRC win on the China Longyou Rally this week.
The Malaysian manufacturer will be led into the final encounter of the 2012 APRC series by Alister McRae. The Scot secured the APRC drivers’ title on this event last year, ensuring PROTON enjoyed a double celebration after also winning the manufacturers’ award.
McRae will start as favourite in China, looking to complete a hat-trick of victories in one of the toughest rounds of the series. McRae also arrives at the start of the event full of confidence following his 16-minute victory on the Malaysian Rally, earlier this year. McRae has finished first or second on two of the last three rounds of the championship.
Joining the team’s Scottish star in China will be Finland’s Juha Salo. Salo is also an experienced hand on the Longyou stages, having competed there previously in 2007 and 2008.
The China Rally Longyou runs across a variety of different stages and surfaces, ranging from broken concrete to the slippery roads cutting through the region’s bamboo forests.
Longyou is in the Zhejiang Province, approximately 400 kilometres away from Shanghai, China’s largest city.
The event gets underway with shakedown at the Shiyuan Motorsports complex on Thursday (October 25), with a ceremonial start in Rong Chang Square the following morning. The event finishes on Sunday afternoon (October 28).
Alister McRae said:
“The China Rally is one where I have always gone well and, of course, there are good memories of taking the title there last year. But it’s a really tricky event. The grip level is changing all the time and the stages are really quite technical, so a good recce is absolutely vital. Obviously we won in Malaysia, so it would be great if we could end the year with another victory for PROTON. I think it’s pretty clear the car has been getting quicker and quicker as the season has progressed and we’re looking to show what the Satria can do again this weekend.”
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