India's Sanjay Takale is all set for the drive of his life as he debuts in the FIA World Rally Championship this weekend in the Neste Rally Finland.
The Pune-based Takale along with co-driver Darren Garrod from Britain will be piloting a WRC 3-spec Ford Fiesta R2 (two-wheel drive) prepared by Baltic Motorsports Promotion team, according to a release.
"After many years of participating in and winning international rallies, notably the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship, I am now pursing my long-cherished dream of competing in the World Rally Championship as a registered driver in the WRC 3 category," Takale said.
Takale's immediate target in Rally Finland is to complete the course that comprises of 23 Special Stages spread over 317.26 kilometres.
Over the four days of action, the competitors will cover a total distance of 1,427.49 kms.
The Neste Rally Finland, which commences on Thursday night is considered the fastest event in the WRC calendar with average speeds upwards of 126 kmph, besides iconic jumps of Ruuhimäki Special Stage on Sunday.
"The weather forecast for the weekend is dry as it is summer here in Finland. So, I expect a fast and dry rally," said Takale soon after finishing a test run in the Fiesta.
Takale's quest for fresh challenges and ultimately realising his WRC dreams saw him shift focus on Europe.
He participated in rallies in Iceland and Sweden before tying up with Latvia-based Baltic Motorsports Promotion on whose suggestion he took part in rallies in Latvia and Estonia to prepare for the WRC Finland round.
With BMP offering him a WRC registered car, Takale decided to participate in the Rally Finland to become the first Indian registered driver in the WRC 3 category.