National car makers Proton has been a regular participant this season in the local motorsports series, the Malaysian Championship Series (MCS). As the only factory-backed squad, they obviously are head over heels over the rest of the field.
In the latest Round 3 at Sepang last weekend, Proton’s Team R3 clinched two wins in both races to extend their series advantage. Not only did they win, but Proton captured 1-2-3 in race two to show who’s ‘Boss’ on a familiar circuit. Each MCS race lasts about an hour, so it really put man and machine into the toughest challenge of domestic motorsports. Cars are pushed to the limits, while the drivers have to ensure they last the trials of an hour’s worth of laps.
Proton sent three R3 cars to the MCS field; a Suprima S with Mitchell Cheah, who qualified on pole in the M-Production class, alongside an Iriz and a Saga with pilots Fariqe Hairuman/Syafiq Ali and James. The Iriz and Saga drivers managed fourth and fifth on the starting grid. The Suprima S took an outright win in race one. The remaining two Proton cars were fourth and fifth.
In the second race, the order followed the finishing positions from race one. The Protons had strong start positions in first, fourth and fifth. Off the starting blocks, the Protons were in the top three, with the Suprima S leading the Iriz and Saga. The rest of the field tried to play catch up. The Iriz eventually led the race with the Suprima S second and the Saga third. The lead would stand and Proton secured a 1-2-3 finish for the first time in the MCS. The win pushes up Proton drivers (Hairuman/ Ali) to second overall in the drivers standings of the M-Production category.
Proton in Motorsports
The Proton R3 badge is no stranger in motorsports, over the past 15 years. Proton was a force to be reckoned with in the MME (Merdeka Millennium Endurance) back in 2005 and 2006. They have secured four outright wins in the S1K (Sepang 1000km) endurance in 2012, 2014, 2017 and 2018.
.Although the drivers get most of the glory, motor racing is a team sport with success dependent on the hard work of multiple key partners and people to ensure a positive result. The team utilizes all its assets, including efficient pit stops and painstaking teamwork by the crew to pull off its best results. R3 engineers and team personnel spend countless hours to build a winning race car that reflects the technical capabilities and professionalism of everyone involved. They also work hand-in-hand with Proton’s engineers to ensure that lessons learned on the track are communicated to the team responsible for the road cars.