Indian rally driver, Sanjay Takale, will continue to fight for his current podium place in the Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) overall drivers’ standings at the fifth round of the championship, held at Rally Hokkaido in Japan this weekend.
Takale, who sits third in the overall APRC drivers’ championship, only three and a half points behind leaders Gaurav Gill and Esapekka Lappi, says he hopes his steady approach to the event will pay off.
“It is very important for me to finish here. I need to get as many points as possible, for the overall championship and the Asia Cup,” said Takale. “But this will not be easy. Japan has never been a good round for me. I have never finished so that is bothering me.”
While Takale admits Rally Hokkaido has always been a difficult event for him, he says he comes to the 2013 event with a new car and the experienced crew from MRU Motorsports and hopes this combination will get him across the finish line.
Following Takale’s uncharacteristic retirement from the previous APRC round, the Malaysian Rally, Takale’s main focus is scoring points and continuing to put pressure on the manufacturer-backed, Team MRF, Skoda team.
“Skoda has had some bad luck this year, like me. I think I have put them under some pressure which I never expected to do, but I think they’re looking out for me now.”
“Of course it would be nice to win but the Skoda’s are very very fast. I will just stick to my plan and hopefully that’s enough to get a good result here.”
The MRU Motorsports Subaru Impreza has undergone minor adjustments to ensure Takale gets the most out of it across Hokkaido’s fast yet tricky stages. Rally Hokkaido is set to start from Kita-Aikoku Community Square in Obihiro at 5.30pm on Friday 27 September. Crews then head north of Obihiro to compete across 232 kilometres of closed special stages during Saturday and Sunday before concluding back at Kita-Aikoku at approximately 4.30pm on Sunday 29 September.