Sanskrit /r/

From: Sergejus Tarasovas
Message: 7711
Date: 2001-06-21

My Classical Snaskrit textbook states /r/ is a retroflex ("cerebral")
sound in Sanskrit. It's rather unclear from the passage, whether it's
a reconstructed value or the value preserved by Indian tradition.

Can anybody comment on this? Should I really recite Maha:bha:rata:
with an American accent? Is it true for Vedic?