Indian driver Sanjay Takale is in New Caledonia preparing for round 2 of the 2014 Asia Pacific Rally Championship. At the 2013 event Takale finished 2nd in APRC and is hoping for a repeat result this year.
APRC TV talked to him after the first day of recce.
What did you think of the roads today?
ST: I think they are better than last year, some improvements like new fences in places and the roads have been rolled smooth. Other than some patchy grass in the first stage, the rest looks the same.
Weather looks like it could be wet?
ST: Yes, I check for the weather report and they say there is no rain on the rally day – but I don’t trust the weather man for that, here in New Caledonia the weather changes very quickly.
How does the new CUSCO Subaru go?
ST: This Subaru is much lighter and quicker. It’s got good brakes and will be better than last year’s car in these conditions.
Do you have mud tyres?
ST: Yes we have mud tyres, but hope we do not have to use them. I don’t see any chance of using mud tyres unless it gets really really wet.
Last year you went really well here – is New Caledonia more suitable to your style of driving?
ST: I think so, somehow it suited my style and maybe it’s a lucky place for me. So I opted to come here again this year based on my last year’s result (2nd in APRC). This year though the competition is going to be tough with the European and Asia Pacific champions, plus good drivers from Australia and New Zealand. It’s going to be very tough for me I think.
Is it an environment that suits you?
ST: Back home in India we are used to rough rallies and for me being into motorsport and moto-cross for a long time, this sort of terrain has always suited me. This is a very short rally compared to some of the marathons we do at home.