Proton driver Chris Atkinson says there is more speed to come from the British-built Satria Neo S2000 ahead of this year's Intercontinental Rally Challenge.
Atkinson took a convincing win in last weekend's Asia-Pacific Rally Championship opener in Malaysia, collecting his first international victory along the way. The 31-year-old Australian driver enjoyed a trouble-free run through Malaysia following the MEM team's improvements to the Satria in recent months. The engine in the car has been worked on extensively, and now delivers more torque and power through the rev range, and Reiger suspension had been bolted on to each corner of the car.
Atkinson's teammate Alister McRae finished the Malaysian Rally third after grass blocked the radiator on his Satria, causing the car to overheat on the opening day.
"The car was great," said Atkinson. "It was much more driveable, both with the power and the confidence in the car. We could have gone harder, particularly on the second day, but we had a puncture on the opening stage on Sunday and we had a big lead which we wanted to look after. I'm pretty happy with what we've done in Malaysia, obviously it means a lot to Proton, being their home event.
"There's definitely more to come from the car. We can work more on the suspension setup and really find more speed. It's great to see the hard work from the team being repaid."
The Proton Motorsports' next outing will be on next week's Rally Islas Canarias, when double European Rally Champion Giandomenico Basso makes his debut with the team alongside P-G Andersson.
Atkinson and McRae will return to the Satrias for the International Rally of Queensland, the second APRC round of the year, next month.