Jyvaskyla (Finland), July 30 (IANS) Seasoned driver Sanjay Takale added another feather to his cap by becoming the first registered driver from India to finish a round of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC).
Pune-based Takale and his British co-driver Darren Garrod survived the 23 Special Stages over a total of 317.26 kms, rated among the fastest in the WRC calendar, to bring their Baltic Motorsports Promotion-prepared 2-Wheel Drive Ford Fiesta home in 14th position here on Sunday.
Looking back on the four-day event, Takale said: “Like any rally driver, I also dreamt of participating in and finishing a FIA World Rally Championship event. So, it was a dream come true for me to compete in and finish the fastest WRC event on our planet.”
“It was an amazing experience overall and a steep learning curve for me overall. Probably, I could have fared better had I not lost time due to a puncture and twice having to repair the damaged lower arms of my car. However, that is part and parcel of rallying and I am not complaining.”
Takale also felt that he needed to work hard on his fitness to be able to compete in more such demanding races.
“Going forward, I might do more WRC events. At the same time, I have to work on my fitness to do better in WRC rallies which are long and punishing,” he said.
Takale, who started Sunday’s Leg-3 in 13th position, dropped one spot after the day’s four Special Stages of 45.72 kms.