Team Proton R3 have defended the Sepang 1,000 KM (S1K) endurance title it won in 2017 by claiming a second successive win in the event.
The Proton Iriz R3 bearing number 81 started the 181-lap race in second place, while the new teams’ latest entrant, the Proton Saga R3 started in third place.
The win in the 2018 edition puts Proton R3 team as the most successful team in the event’s history, winning four races since 2012. It was also the fifth time a Proton car crossed the finish line in first place, starting with the Satria Neo in 2012, followed by the Preve in 2013, and the Suprima S in 2016 and 2017.
This is also the third time Syafiq Ali won the endurance race, making him the most successful driver in the S1K history.
Team Principal of Proton R3, Gary Lee, said, “The 2018 S1K was a tough and exciting race run in hot weather conditions at a very fast pace. There were many lead changes with multiple safety car periods adding to the complexity of our race strategy.”
“We managed to get a good lead over the rest of the field with 40 laps to go and thankfully we were able to then stretch our advantage to over 2 minutes at the end of the 181-lap race,” added Gary Lee.
The sister Proton R3 Saga meanwhile was on course to finish in third place until a technical problem disabled the car at the very last lap.
An estimated 2,000 race fans from various Proton car clubs, vendors, dealers, and even bankers dressed in yellow showed their support since the start of the race from 12:50 pm on Saturday.