Proton’s winning streak will boost its product image and pave the way to improve its sales performance
By HARIZAH KAMEL
TEAM Proton R3 finished the 2019 season by winning the Sepang 1,000km (S1K) race for the third consecutive time.
The win went to the latest Proton Iriz driven by Mitchell Cheah and Fariqe Hairuman after nine hours of racing which featured a safety car period and harsh weather that brought the race to an end, short of its scheduled 181 laps.
Proton Holdings Bhd CEO Dr Li Chunrong said a lot of factors contributed to the team’s successful record for this season.
“A manufacturer, for instance, would firstly need the correct models in its range that would be suitable for the job.
“Even if a suitable model is available, it is difficult to achieve success as the car needs to be developed, while the skills of the racing team — from the technicians to the drivers, need to be finely honed. This requires an investment in time and money and Proton’s success in motorsports is proof that our investment in R3, our in-house racing division, is a wise one,” he said.
Proton stretches its lead as the most successful manufacturer in the history of the S1K endurance race event with this third consecutive victory, which was also the national automaker’s fifth overall win from 11 editions of the S1K.
Cheah and Fariqe’s win was completed with a 1-2 finish for the team by Syafiq Ali and Admi Shahrul in a 2019 Proton Saga to take the top two podium spots.
Team Proton R3 also made an impressive run from the 26th position to finish the race in seventh place, courtesy of the trio from the MSF-R3 Ladies Racers Search.
Nurul Husna and Faye Kusairi were selected from the MSF-R3 Lady Drivers Search which gave aspiring lady racers a chance to compete in the S1K race. The lead driver for the team was Leona Chin, Malaysia’s fastest lady racer.
Li also said Proton’s winning streak will boost its product image and pave the way to improve its sales performance.
“By winning the S1K for the fifth time in 11 editions, Proton has proven its mastery of the event. A 1,000km race requires speed, as well as reliability and our models have both. What we learn in the heat of competition we then engineer into our products to create better cars.
“The success of both the Proton Iriz 2019 and Proton Saga 2019 in motorsports helped boost the image of each model and as a result, Proton Iriz sales have increased threefold, while the Proton Saga has achieved more than 35,000 bookings since its launch,” Li added.