KIZILIRMAK MAKES TERRIFIC PROGRESS AT BRANDS Turkish saloon car star Erkut Kizilirmak enjoyed three entertaining Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship races at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit today, the highlight coming during round two where...
KIZILIRMAK MAKES TERRIFIC PROGRESS AT BRANDS
Turkish saloon car star Erkut Kizilirmak enjoyed three entertaining Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship races at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit today, the highlight coming during round two where he finished competitively inside the top 12.
Outpacing several S2000 specification machines, including the brand new "works-spec" Alfa Romeo 156s, Erkut was delighted with his performance and added to 14th position in round one and 16th place during the final BTCC race of the day, the 37-year-old is growing in confidence and delighted with his Vauxhall Astra Sports Hatch.
"I'm very happy with our performance today", said the Arkas Racing ace, "I'm learning all of the time and starting to adapt my driving as I need to in order to start getting the most from the car and the tyres against incredibly tough competition. The improvements are coming and to be in the top 12 in our second race is a great boost for all of us.
"The level of competition in the BTCC is so much higher than I have ever experienced before, it's impossible to ease off for a fraction of a second! I'm learning fast though and learning to fight hard, in the second race my best lap was within seven 10ths of a second of the fastest lap overall which shows how well we are improving."
Erkut added: "The car is fantastic and Tech-Speed (the team which prepares the Arkas car) is perfect. This year the key will be reliability and consistency, they will be the two key words for us I guess. Things have started well here at Brands Hatch and I'm looking forward to Rockingham now in three weeks where we will learn even more."
Having qualified his BTC-specification Astra racer a creditable 19th on the grid for his debut race at the 1.2-mile venue, Erkut gained four positions to finish in 15th place. Keeping his calm in a race interrupted by two Safety Car periods, Erkut was later promoted to 14th position following the exclusion of Matt Jackson from third place for a flag infringement.
Lining up 14th on the grid for round two, thanks to his finishing position from the first race, Erkut shone particularly brightly in the second of the day's encounters and by the end of the 24 laps he came home in an excellent 12th place -- just two seconds shy of his maiden top 10 result.
For the final race of the day Erkut started in 12th position but it was to be his most difficult outing of the race meeting. Like round one, the third race was interrupted by a brace of Safety Car periods. Erkut crossed the line in 16th place after an action-packed drive.
The next three rounds of the BTCC will take place at Rockingham Motor Speedway in Northamptonshire on 21st/22nd April.