Pune: Awesome rally atmosphere was the just stimulant Sanjay Takale needed to go all the way and improve his standings on the longish Day 2 and no wonder the Pune-based international rally driver achieved it by gaining one place to be 13th in his WRC3 class in the Neste Rally Finland, the eighth stop of the FIA World Rally Championship, in Jyvaskyla on Saturday.
“This is a crazy rally and as much amazing fans waving at all the participants. There were scores of them all along the route. I think this is one crazy country for motorsports,” is how Takale described his maiden experience at the iconic Rally Finland.
Driving with British co-driver Darren Garrod, Takale maintained a steady pace in the 2-Wheel Drive Ford Fiesta prepared by Latvia-based Baltic Motorsports Promotion through the day that was punctuated by eight Special Stages over 142.86-km to gain one spot from overnight 14th to 13th despite being docked time penalty.
“We started the day well, but I received heavy time penalty in one of the Stages following a major crash. I was about to start the Stage when I was stopped by the Marshall even as ambulances were rushing in. I and a few other cars behind me had to wait for nearly an hour and we then proceeded to the next Stage. I was handed a time penalty for late reporting, though it was no fault of mine!,” is how Takale reflected on the longest day of the Rally.
Shrugging off the incident, Takale maintained his pace on the second loop of the Stages highlighted by high speed, blind crests followed immediately by corners.
“No wonder that Rally Finland is known to be the fastest Rally in the World! It is very technical and the pace notes have to be spot-on because the terrain is very unforgiving as even the smallest mistake can prove costly,” explained Takale.
Keeping the lines
Takale did good in the second part of the day as the timings suggested.
“We drove well to the lines as good and correct pace notes were the key to survive this rally. As you know this is the fastest rally in the world and it is very technical also,” Takale said.
Sunday will see the competitors covering just 45.72-km over two Special Stages - Laukaa (11.74 Kms) and Ruuhimaki (11.12 Kms) - that will be run twice before the finish of the Rally.