Subang Jaya, 16 July 2019 – The 2019 Malaysia Championship Series, or MCS, is a gruelling race and Team PROTON R3 showed just how tough they are by dominating Round 3 of the national racing series, and proving their mettle in the M-Production class. At the Sepang International Circuit, the team’s cars clinched a double victory, including locking out the podium spots with a 1-2-3 finish in Race Two.
The road to victory was not smooth for the team as although Mitchell Cheah managed to put his Proton Suprima S on pole, his teammates Fariqe Hairuman and Syafiq Ali in the Proton Iriz and James Veerapen in the Proton Saga only managed to start from fourth and fifth on the grid, as the team struggled to find the balance for both cars.
In the race, Mitchell’s Proton Suprima S dominated the race from the start to the chequered flag, giving R3 yet another M-Production class victory in the 2019 championship. The other two R3 cars ended Race One in fourth and fifth respectively, leaving the team with a lot of work to do to ensure a strong finish for the second race of the weekend.
The finishing positions from Race One determined the starting grid for Race Two, which was held last Sunday – the trio of R3 cars started in first, fourth and fifth respectively. Team Proton R3 again dominated the race as the Suprima S, Iriz and Saga quickly charged to head of the field at the start.
By dominating Race Two, R3 gave itself a window of opportunity to maximise the points scored by the team. With that strategy in mind, the Proton Iriz of Fariqe and Syafiq finished first, followed by Mitchell and his Suprima S, while James was third with his Saga. This is the first time R3 had finished the race taking all three podium places. This result means Fariqe and Syafiq are just two points behind the current championship leader for the M-Production class.
“Round three of the MCS was a tough challenge for R3 as we strived to maximize our points haul in both races. The one-hour endurance race format over the weekend was a very good opportunity for us to work on the performance and reliability of our Proton racing machines and the results show we are on the right track to win the overall title. It also shows our cars will be strong during this year’s Sepang 1000KM (S1K), so it was a great effort all around,” said Gary Lee, Team Principal of PROTON R3.
Over the past 15 years, Team PROTON R3 has supported and participated in, and won, some of the most prestigious motorsports events in Malaysia and the region. The highlights include overall victories at the Merdeka Millennium Endurance event in 2005 and 2006 as well as four victories at the S1K race in 2012, 2014, 2017 and last year, 2018.
Although the drivers get most of the glory, motor racing is a team sport and success is dependent on the hard work of multiple key partners and people to ensure a positive result. The team utilises all its assets, including efficient pit stops and painstaking teamwork by the crew to pull off its best results. R3 engineers and team personnel also 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 back to the team responsible for the road cars.