Sanjay Takale will be representing India at the forthcoming 2nd edition of the World Motorsports Games to be held at the iconic Circuit Paul Ricard in Marseille, France.
Former Asia-Pacific Rally champion Takale’s name was recommended by the Federation of Motorsports Clubs of India(FMSCI), the National Governing body of the sport to the Paris-headquartered world governing body, Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA). The 2022 World Motorsports Games are happening after the covid pandemic forced two-year gap.
This year’s World Motorsports Games are scheduled to be held from October 26 to30 on the superfine tarmac circuit that has hosted formula one French grand Prix for many years.
The Paul Ricard Circuit built at French village Le Castellet in 1969 has hosted FIA Formula One French Grand Prix intermittently from 1971 to 1983, and every year from 1985 to 1990 as well as from 2018 to 2022.
“This will be the first time I am going to represent India ,which makes this opportunity very special ,”Takale said addressing a media conference ahead of his departure for France.
The Pune-based rally driver Takale, who competed in the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship(APRC) in the past is elated at getting the chance to represent the country, which is rarity in motorsports. In most formats of the motorsports a driver either represents his team or takes part as a private individual. Similarly Takale has found support from aerpace—a futuristic drone-based logistic transportation system company launched by young visionaries from Mumbai in 2019, who have been working on the dream project. Aerpacehas its vision to inspire the world to move through cities in smarter and more sustainable ways through drone technology.
After the FMSCI cleared Takale’s name based on his past performances and as he expressed his desire to return to competitive rallying, it was up to Takale to choose his navigator. The rules of World Motorsports Games allow the driver to pick his navigator from a different country too, but the team is considered as an entry from nationality of the driver in what is been referred to as the battle of the nations. This year 90 countries have sent their entries in different categories, up from 49, which participated in the inaugural edition in 2019 in Rome. India is also sending a full team.
Takale will be at the wheels of French car Peugeot and competing in Rally4 class of the competition.
“I gave it a thought as to whom should I take as a navigator, but finally settled on the Nre Zealand-born, now Australia-based Mike Young.”Takale informed. Takale, drove most of the APRC rallies and other cross country rally events with Musa Sheriff as navigator. But this time he preferred Mike over Musa because the Australian has himself driven on different international circuits. Young is himself an established rally driver.Also the two were in the same position—Takale as driver and Mike Young as navigator—with the two finishing seventh in Rally Estonia in Tallinn in 2019. Interestingly Young was Takale’s teammate in the APRC championship driving for the Japanese rally team Cusco Motorsport.
The second edition of the World Motorsports Games include record 18 disciplines such as auto slalom cross car-Senior cross car-Junior formula 4, GT, GT sprint, historic rally, Karting endurance, karting slalom, karting sprint-Junior, Karting sprint-senior, Karting sprint-junior, Rally2, Rally4, Rally H, Drifting and Touring car.