Alister McRae has said he will be gunning for a top-five finish on the RACMSA Rally of Scotland this coming weekend, the penultimate round in the 2010 Intercontinental Rally Challenge.
McRae inherited second place on this event eleven months ago and he now returns at the wheel of a factory-backed Proton Satria Neo Super 2000. The Lanark-born driver, who is set to attract a great deal of local support and media interest, is relishing taking part on his home rally and he will be hoping to capitalise on the improvements made to the Satria Neo in recent months.
"It's going to be a really good event and an awesome spectacle for the fans," McRae said. "There are going to way more Super 2000 cars doing the event than there were last year and they will all be going extremely quickly. A top five is the target but we'll keep pushing and you never know where we will end up."
McRae and team-mate Keith Cronin will conduct a one-day test in Scotland tomorrow [Tuesday] and with further development testing completed in Wales last week, both will be focusing on final set-ups, something that will be critical as there is no pre-event shakedown.
"It's always nice to compete at home, particularly coming back to Perth after such a strong result last season," McRae continued. "The car has definitely improved through the year, with the work on the engine and dampers paying dividends with the Satria.
"I know I'm biased, but some of the stages on this event are absolutely fantastic and among the best in the world. The Loch Ard stage on Sunday was new for us all last year and it was great, a real flowing driver's stage; I'm certainly looking forward to getting back into there again.
"Seeing the Saltire at the side of the road always gives you a big boost on your home event and this rally has good memories for me: it was my first IRC round for the Proton team and Proton's best result of the season."
Proton team principal Chris Mellors added: "The car has moved on so much from where we were on this event last year, it's really exciting to be going back to Scotland again, and we're going back to try and improve on the result we achieved with Alister last season.
"The damper test earlier last week went really well. We've been able to take the car forward again in that area, which translates to more traction and stability. Everybody in the team is really up for this one, obviously we have good memories of last year and we're all looking forward to going back. We are after the right result there."