Competitor Update – 22 July 2016

China Rally Zhangye

  • As far as possible, planning is in place for China Rally. For those who are involved with Customs inspections in Beijing, I have sent details on where and when this will happen.
  • The new venue in Zhangye has no doubt created some difficulties and challenges for people planning to be there. This has been compounded by the fact that a few weeks later China hosts a round of WRC. I recommend that we tackle the new location with an open mind, it promises to be an exciting new rally in a totally new environment. At an altitude of 1500+ m, it will be the highest point on the calendar.

Rally Hokkaido

  • Supplementary Regulations have been published and are available for download from
  • A new requirement for import customs inspections is that the holder of the carnets (ie the person in whose name the carnet is issued) must present themselves and their passports to the customs office in Tomakomai (port of import) I have been trying to seek a waiver for this requirement, however, with no luck to date. I will continue to discuss this requirement with organisers, JAF and customs in Tomakomai.
  • For accommodation requests, I recommend that these be done as soon as possible on the form available in RG1. Requests must be received by organisers by 2 September.

Malaysian Rally

  • I would strongly recommend that if you are wanting to stay at the Grand Paragon Hotel (Rally HQ) you make your accommodation requests early. Rather than late.
  • Also, if you wish to have pre-event testing, there is a form available on the rally website
  • Further information can be obtained from Kurnia Sakor

India Rally

  • Rally Guide 1 is now available. The file is not available online as yet. If you would like a copy, please contact me.

Asia Cup registrations

  • If any teams or drivers are still considering registering for Asia Cup, with Rally Hokkaido as your first Asia Cup rally, the close of registrations is the same date as close of entries for Rally Hokkaido – Friday 2nd September.
  • Asia Cup is four rallies, China, Japan, Malaysia and India. You must nominate and compete in 3, or 4, rallies to qualify. Only the best 3 results will count to the final positions.

As always, any questions on any of the above, please contact me directly.

Murray Brown
APRC Coordinator
+63 908 310 5888

Takale and Young team-up in Estonia

Takale and Young in EstoniaSuperfast and flowing gravel roads, left-hand drive car and daylight for 20-long hours is the setting for Sanjay Takale from India as he gets ready to compete in the FIA Rally Estonia, his first competitive rally in Europe.

Having done test drives in Sweden and Wales last year, Rally Estonia was just the rally Takale was looking for to make his European debut as he accesses and learns the terrains before making his dream debut at the World Rally Championship in a year’s time. One of the widely- watched rallies in the world, Estonia offers stunning backdrop and terrain that attracts some of the best rally drivers to take part.

Besides the days being long, the terrain is almost the same as in Finland, which will host the WRC round in two week’s time. “I will be driving the Markko Martin Motorsport built Subaru Impreza car with Michael Young, who is my teammate in the Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) with Team Cusco Japan, as my navigator,” Takale informed. “When the opportunity came, we both decided that we simply had to make it happen,” said Takale, who will be competing in the open category of Rally Estonia from July 15 to 17.

Takale and Young in EstoniaOn Thursday, Takale went for a spin in the Subaru car, which was left-hand drive. Though Takale has driven left-hand drive car in recce, what makes his task challenging is that he will be driving the same car in the competitive stages too. “I have driven left-hand drive cars in China, Sweden and some other places, but for the competitive stages I always had right-hand drive car. My practice was good without any hitch and was able to drive it nicely and pace notes done by Mike (Young) also were helpful,” said Takale, who has been finding difficult to catch up on sleep due to long days.

“Me and Mike are friends on the field and off it too. We decided to drive in Estonia and be driver and co-driver to share costs and gain maximum experience that we can both take back to APRC campaigns”.

The Subaru Impreza car that Takale will be driving has been provided by former World Rally Championship competitor Urmo Aava. It is similar to the APRC Cusco Subaru Impreza, “My main goal for the three day- event, comprising of 107 competitive kilometres, is simply to experience European rallying,” added Takale.

“Besides getting a chance to drive on such terrains, I am more excited to get the chance to drive alongside the WRC drivers who go to Estonia to get ready for the Finland round of WRC,” he explained. “Given that I had never been to this country even during my backpacking days when I toured 110 nations, I was more eager to take up the challenge. It will also help me in getting myself attuned to the courses in Europe, which is very important before I plan to drive in the full season of WRC in the coming years.

The original version of this story appeared in the Sakaal Times. Photos by Brian Young of