Sunday, December 12, 2010

A ride in the Proton Satria Neo Super S2000

Pic 1: Riding shotgun with Alister McRae

I've always been a rally fan. The sport is so much more accessible to the petrol head than other forms of motorsports. You get to be right at the heat of the action rather than behind some cordoned off fences.

Another plus point is that rally drivers are a friendly lot. I've met, chatted and took photos with some of the world’s best known rally drivers and I can say they are a whole lot better than those F1 drivers that I bump into during the F1 races. Humble, down to earth and chatty with the fans. :)

Pic 2: The Proton Satria Neo Super S2000

Pic 3: Interior

Recently I had the opportunity to hitch a ride with Alister McRae in his Proton Satria Neo Super S2000 (Thanks Gary!). The car is based off the Proton Satria Neo but has been extensively redesigned and redeveloped by Chris Mellors of Mellors Elliott Motorsport (MEM) to FIA Super 2000 rally specifications. For those that are unaware, Proton is now competing in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge and FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship.

I am mighty proud that Proton did a good season this year too. They took first and second placing at the APRC 2010 and also second and third placing for the Asia Cup. Overall the team came out second for the Manufacturer’s Championship. Now ain't that a feat for a team that is considered the underdogs!

Pic 4: Lovely seats!

Pic 5: GEMS system

The 2 litre Proton Super 2000 engine is derived from the 1.8 litre engine fitted to Proton Waja and has been further developed by MEM’s engineers to produce a reliable 278 bhp @ 7600rpm with a usable power band from 5,500 to 8,500rpm. Combined with the Xtrac 6-speed sequential 4WD Super 2000 transmission, the car sets new standards for engine performance and driveability. And all of this power is naturally aspirated!

I can still remember the first time I saw Alister McRae. It was in 1998 when he was driving the Volkswagen Golf GTi. Then in 1999, he was the works driver for Hyundai driving the Hyundai Coupe. Check out the pics below which I took way back then. A little walk down memory lane .....

Pic 6: Alister was driving the VW Golf GTi in 1998 (note autograph :P)

Pic 7: In 1999, Alister was works driver for Hyundai

Pic 8: During recce, Alister ran into an emu during Rally of Australia hence the damaged front end (Yes he autographed this pic too :P)

Pic 9: David Senior tightening back the wheel

Anyway, back to the experience in the Proton Satria Neo Super S2000, the drive was done in an oil palm estate somewhere in Sepang, Malaysia. Strapped in the TRS harness and donning the Stilo helmet with integrated intercom, I was able to chat with Alister enroute to the start of the SS. As my only experience in a rally car was on tarmac, he was telling me that real rallying is on the forest (gravel) and it will be a totally different experience. I agreed and look forward to going at crazy speeds admist oil palms on both sides of the road.

Observing Alister piloting the car, the agility and maneuverability of the vehicle is phenomenal. It's amazing how Alister controls the vehicle on the slippery gravel (it was raining!). What really amazes me is how responsive the brakes are. Braking was done very very late. For example, at a square turn, Alister yanks on the handbrake and the car slides thru with ease. Everytime, he pulls the handbrake it's like a ballerina on steroids!

Pic 10: Those buttons on the steering wheel are bluetooth linked - weight saving on wires

Pic 11: Those are AP pedals there

I did take a video of the experience but sadly it's not the best as I mounted it on the A pillar roll cage thus it's a tad slanted in view and my cam ain't the best out there. Hope you enjoy the video.

Pic 12: Gear indicator display

Pic 12: GEMS system with 12 scroll-able screens

Pic 13: GEMS system with 12 scroll-able screens

Pic 14: The rear - spare tyre, jack, first-aid kit, etc..

Pic 15: The heart of the Proton Satria Neo Super S2000

Pic 16: The heart of the Proton Satria Neo Super S2000

Pic 17: Roll cage and air vents on the roof

Pic 18: Side shot

Pic 19: With Alister McRae

Pic 20: The hardworking crew

Pic 21: Alister McRae

Pic 22: The Proton Satria Neo Super S2000

Pic 23: The Proton Satria Neo Super S2000

Pic 24: ER34 or Proton Satria Neo Super S2000? Hmmm.....

Pic 25: The Proton Satria Neo Super S2000

Pic 26: The Proton Satria Neo Super S2000

Pic 27: The Proton Satria Neo Super S2000

Pic 28: The Proton Satria Neo Super S2000

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R Z-Tune in Nismo Omori Factory

Was going through my PC and found this old video that I took in April 2007 when I visited Nismo Omori Factory. Had a good look at the Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R Z-Tune when I was there. This is the first production unit (Vehicle Number P001).

Sorry about the video quality; didn't have a HD cam back then. :P

Related Posts with Thumbnails