KIZILIRMAK SAVES BEST TILL LAST AT ROCKINGHAM Arkas Racing's Erkut Kizilirmak saw his learning curve continue at Rockingham Motor Speedway today, Sunday, 22nd April, during the latest three rounds of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car...
KIZILIRMAK SAVES BEST TILL LAST AT ROCKINGHAM
Arkas Racing's Erkut Kizilirmak saw his learning curve continue at Rockingham Motor Speedway today, Sunday, 22nd April, during the latest three rounds of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship -- the day culminating in fine style with the Turkish star just missing out on his first top 10 finish of the season.
Taking 16th position overall in the opening race of the day, round four of the campaign, Erkut's fortunes took a downward turn before round five had even begun when a rare mechanical glitch struck his Vauxhall Astra Sports Hatch on the green flag formation lap.
Round six had a much more favourable outcome though with the 37-year-old producing a great performance to finish in 11th position on the road, fifth in the Independents class, and to take six well deserved points towards his Independents Trophy total.
Having started down the order in 22nd position due to the problems he encountered ahead of round five, Erkut's improvement was impressive and although assisted to a degree by a couple of notable incidents involving a handful of front-runners, nothing should be taken away from his round six drive.
Delighted with his car's preparation, which is handled under the Arkas banner by Leamington Spa-based Tech-Speed Motorsport, Erkut is confident the experience he is gaining will only enhance his understanding of the Astra. One thing is certain, the Arkas star is absolutely loving every minute of being in the all-action BTCC.
"I really enjoyed today but I know I need to work on my understanding of the car", said Erkut, "As we keep saying, I am learning all of the time. I cannot complain about the car at all, I just have a lack of knowledge of how to set the car up at this level and so I guess that is probably what is missing for us.
"When I can set the car up better we will have some better results but today we had fun and it's great to record our best result. There was certainly plenty of action in the last race -- it was a very big fight into the first hairpin on the opening lap.
"I just managed to miss a car which had spun in front of me and then I was hit by another car. You just wanted to close your eyes and then open them again when you thought you were through the corner safely! It was unbelievable. We obviously had some good fortune but the car was great, the team is perfect and everyone is working very hard."
Arkas technical director Brian Ashwood added: "If there was a lesson we learned today then it was that we perhaps played with the set-up too much rather than being a bit more patient. The team did a great job though and Erkut is improving every time he is in the car. As he gains more knowledge, we will only get stronger and stronger."
Highlights of today's Rockingham race action will be screened in the UK later tonight at 01.30 on ITV1 with a replay to be shown on digital satellite and cable channel Men & Motors at 19.30 this Friday, 27th April.
The BTCC will be back in action two weeks from now, 5th/6th May, at Thruxton Circuit in Hampshire for the seventh, eighth and ninth rounds of the season.