ENTERS APRC AFTER A FIVE YEAR HIATUS
4th August 2009
|VIP and teams at the press conference.
4th August - Proton has entered the
FIA ASIA PACIFIC RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP (APRC) ANCOM Malaysian Rally
2009 (MR9) with Karamjit Singh behind the wheel of its Proton Satria
Neo S2000. The MR9 is the fifth of seven APRC Rounds and will be
held in Johor from 14-16 August.
It has been five years since Proton
entered the APRC which is also the last time a Malaysian driver
(Karamjit Singh) competed in this regional event.
“It’s a dream come true,
an opportunity of a life time for me,” said 47 year-old Karamjit
who began his career in 1985. “I have waited twenty-four years
for this car.”
Karamjit has won the APRC three times
and was FIA Production Car World Rally Champion in 2002. His co-driver
is veteran, Jagdev Singh. The two will compete for Championship
points against six international drivers including defending APRC
Champion, Australian, Cody Crocker of the Motor Image Team and Japan’s
Katsuhiko Taguchi of the MRF Tyres Team.
Crocker is the current leader of
this year’s Championship on 47 points, Taguchi second on 36
points and New Zealand’s Emma Gilmour, Crocker’s team
mate, is third on 23 points. Taguchi and Gilmour will go on to compete
in the rallies of Indonesia and China. Crocker has only the China
Round to go, so scoring maximum points in Malaysia is very important.
APRC competitors need only compete in six of the seven Rounds.
Karamjit cannot take home the APRC
title but he is competing for the Asia Cup title. The Asia Cup is
a section of the Asia Pacific series for which competitors must
nominate and compete in three of four Rounds in order to secure
points towards the title. The rallies in Malaysia, Indonesia and
China give Karamjit that opportunity.
MALAYSIAN RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP HELD
The third Round of the 2009 MALAYSIAN
RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP (MRC) will be held over the same weekend, using
the same Stages as the APRC.
Twenty-seven entries in five different
engine categories will race for Championship points. They will be
flagged-off straight after the APRC competitors.
2008 MRC Champions and this year’s
current leaders, Karamjit and Jagdev have also entered this race
in order to continue clocking up points towards winning the best
driver and co-driver trophies at the end of the year.
However, the real battle to watch
will be the five-way competition between Gunaseelan Rajoo of the
GSR Pennzoil Racing Team, Saladin Mazlan and Rozali Abdullah of
the Felda Rally Team and Indian drivers Arjun Rao and Lahitt Urs.
All five will compete in 4WDs.
The 2WD category has many more contenders
but all eyes will be on veterans ‘Mike’ Ariokiasamy
Ratnam and Jamaluddin Tukimin who won this category in the first
and second Rounds respectively.
Nine young drivers are lined up to
compete in the Junior category, including Faidzal Alang, the winner
of Season One of the Astro Ria Reality TV show ‘Zero.2.Hero’
and runner-up, Azmeer Yusri Yusof, who will drive for the Felda
The rallies will be held in the oil-palm
plantations of Kota Tinggi, Johor. Competitors will aim to complete
16 Stages over 227.70klms across the weekend. The longest Stage
is 24.46klms and the shortest is 3.09klms.
The official flag-off and prize giving
ceremonies will be held at the ZON Hotel, Johor Bahru on Friday
14 August at 8pm and Sunday 16 August at 3pm respectively.
The rallies are organized by Malaysia’s
leading motor rally promoter, Wheel Sport Management Sdn Bhd, a
member of the ANCOM group, the Johor State Government, the Automobile
Association of Malaysia (AAM) and Kelab Sukan Motor Perlis.
The MR9 is sanctioned by the Fédération
Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), supported by the Ministry
of Youth and Sports Malaysia and Kerajaan Negeri Johor Darul Ta'zim.
The MR9 title sponsor is Ancom Berhad and it is co-sponsored by
Johor Tourism, Redberry, Silverstone, Proton, Kip Mart, Tai Tak
Plantation, Kulim Malaysia Berhad, BERNAMA TV & Malay Mail.
The MR9 will be broadcast to a potential
television audience of 60 million with over 176 broadcasters beaming
pictures into 196 countries.
Besides the hot Rally car action,
there will be a mini carnival at the ZON during the MR9 with loads
of fun activities and prizes for the whole family. From 10am -10pm
Friday to Sunday, kids young and old can take part in the Rally
Q&A, the PS2 Rally Challenge and colouring competitions.
On Saturday there will be an Autoshow:
“A Gathering of Men and Machines” from 1.00 -7.00pm
followed by a live concert at 9.00pm by “The Fabulous Cats”
All the details are at www.malaysianrally.com.
APRC Points and driver profiles for the APRC can be found at www.fiaaprc.com
For more information about this press
release please contact:
Diane Barton, Media Director MR9
M: +6017 286 2208 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org