Sanjay Takale finishes 14th in WRC 3 category of Neste Rally Finland
Takale, who started Sunday’s Leg-3 in 13th position, dropped one spot after the day’s four Special Stages of 45.72 Kms.
India’s Sanjay Takale became the first registered driver from his country to finish a round of the FIA World Rally Championship, after being classified overall 14th in the WRC 3 category of the grueling Neste Rally Finland.
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.
Looking back on the four-day event which concluded on Sunday, Takale said: "Like any rally driver, I also dreamt of participating in and finishing an 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.
"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. In the Finland Rally, for instance, we covered a total distance of 1,400 Kms over four days, not counting the two days of reconnaissance runs."
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