The Team Malaysia A1 Grand Prix car will have undergone a swift transformation by the time it rolls onto the grid for the opening event in Durban, having picked up the backing of Proton for the remainder of the series.

Proton Marketing, a subsidiary of the bigger brand best known for its road cars, has entered into an memorandum of understanding with A1 Grand Prix (Malaysia) to sponsor the team for the remaining five rounds of the championship and for the next two seasons, having spotted the series potential for pushing sponsor's names to a global audience. A1 Team Malaysia has thus pulled off a major coup in being the first A1 Grand Prix team to introduce a motor manufacturer to the World Cup of Motorsport.

Proton's Syed Zainal admitted that he had been following the successful of A1 Team Malaysia, which has seen both Alex Yoong and Fairuz Fauzy score points.

"The sponsorship will allow us to play our role in promoting Malaysia, as well as the Proton brand, to global spectators all year round," Zainal said, "The partnership with A1 Team Malaysia - including the drivers, mechanics and supporting members - adds value to Proton?EUR(TM)s core business and products while, at the same time, giving us access to valuable skills and experience in the areas of professional race team logistics, support, promotion, as well as management know-how."

Team principal Jack Cunningham admitted that he was delighted to have attracted some backing for the team, and to be taking a first step with Proton towards what both parties hope will be the development of a long-term relationship.

"Our new partner has had the vision to see the strengths of the A1 Grand Prix platform, and recognises the excellent branding opportunity that A1 Team Malaysia represents for Malaysian companies to reach an international audience," Cunningham added.



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