Pune: Having put aside his successful FIA World Rally Championship debut at Neste Rally Finland in Jyväskylä, Pune’s international rally driver Sanjay Takale gets back to basics in the Round 2 of Thailand Pre-Rally Championship, in his quest to continue to log more miles behind the wheels.
To be run on the torturous course in Supanburi on August 25-26, it will be the best chance to Takale to get himself into the title contention after having finished second overall in the 4x4 Open class in Nakhon Ratchasima Province bordering Cambodia in June.
Then he was forced to drive on hard-knobbed tyres meant for muddy terrains, but Takale had kept his Isuzu DMax utility vehicle well entrenched and in control on soft gravel roads.
The wrong choice of tyres dur to early rains almost cost Takale dearly, but given his expertise on this kind of terrain learnt during his Asia-Pacific Rally Championship days and also the Asia Cross-Country Rally Championship that he won in 2011, helped him to tackle the conditions.
As Takale begins his quest yet again, he will hope to get solid support from the technical team of Delo Sport Thailand for whom he is driving the Isuzu utility vehicle.
“I want to concentrate more on exit speed at the corners to compensate the grip, when nature turns its tide and creates situations that become difficult to handle,” Takale said from Bangkok upon landing.
As in the first round and the final round of 2017 that was held in March this year, Takale will have Thai co-driver Thanyaphat Meemi, who is accustomed to the terrain.
“I have had a good look that the course marked here. We did recce today and though there are some spots which could create some trouble in the later part of the rally, but I am game for it,” said Takale.
Now with the tag of WRC driver on his shoulder, Takale would expect to do well in the rally, in which several drivers from far off region take part just to get the feel of the unique terrain that Thailand has on offer.
For Takale, Thailand Pre-Rally will kick-start second part of the season after having driven in Latvia and Estonia to prepare for WRC Rally Finland.