TEAM Proton R3 capped a successful 2019 by winning the Sepang 1000km (S1K) race for the third consecutive time.
The 2019 Proton Iriz driven by Mitchell Cheah and Fariqe Hairuman dominated proceedings in a tough race that featured a safety car period and inclement weather leading to proceedings ending after nine hours instead of the scheduled 181 laps.
There was double joy for R3 as the 2019 Proton Saga driven by Syafiq Ali and Admi Shahrul came in second place.
With a third consecutive and fifth overall S1K victory, Proton has stretched its lead as the most successful manufacturer in the history of the event.
The record is a testament to the reliability, handling and performance of Proton cars as well as the skill, professionalism and teamwork of R3, arguably the leading racing team in Malaysia.
“Being successful in motor racing requires a combination of factors. 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 need to be finely honed.
“This requires investment in time and money and Proton’s success in motorsports is proof our investment in R3, our in-house racing division, is a wise one, ” said Proton chief executive officer Li Chunrong.
There were three Team Proton R3 entrants for S1K this year and the third car comprised an all-women driving team.
Nurul Husna and Faye Kusairi were selected from the MSF-R3 Lady Drivers Search that gave aspiring women racers a chance to compete in the S1K race.
The lead driver for the team was Leona Chin, Malaysia’s fastest woman racer.
A technical issue during qualifying meant the team’s 2019 Proton Saga started the race from 26th on the grid.
Despite the early setback, the women showed amazing skill and fighting spirit as they carved their way up to seventh overall and first among all women drivers by the end of the race.
“They performed very well and we are proud of their achievement.
“By finishing seventh, they have proven their capability to compete in the male-dominated arena of motorsports and Proton are proud to have given Malay-sian women an opportunity to showcase their talents, ” said Li.
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