ARKAS RACING DELIGHTED TO BE BACK FOR FINALS WEEKEND
Arkas Racing and Turkish driver Erkut Kizilirmak can't wait for their combined return to action at Thruxton Circuit just five days from now, 13th/14th October, during the eagerly awaited Finals Weekend of the 2007 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.
Having missed the Knockhill race meeting at the beginning of September due to family commitments back home in Istanbul, Erkut is chomping at the bit to be back in the BTCC at the wheel of his BTC-specification Vauxhall Astra Sports Hatch.
Since his last outing in the BTCC some eight weeks ago during the Brands Hatch Indy race meeting on 18th/19th August, Erkut has celebrated his 38th birthday and although missing the three Knockhill races he still finds himself ninth overall in the Independents Trophy standings while Arkas is placed seventh in the Independents Team Trophy.
Arriving at Thruxton with memories of securing his maiden BTCC Drivers Championship points still fresh in his mind, having raced to a brace of top 10 finishes during his last outing at Brands Hatch, Erkut is now aiming to conclude his first season in the category with an equally strong run at Hampshire's ultra-fast 2.35-mile circuit.
"We're very happy to be back in action in the BTCC", said Erkut, "I've really missed the racing over the last couple of months and although it might take a little bit of time to get fully up to speed again during the practice sessions, I'm confident we can have a strong weekend as we're definitely improving every time we compete. It should be great fun!"
Prepared by Leamington Spa's Tech-Speed Motorsport with additional background support from Banbury-based VX Racing, Erkut's Arkas-branded Vauxhall Astra has unquestionably been one of the most immaculately turned-out cars on the BTCC grid.
Great news ahead of 2008 too is that Turkey's best saloon-car racer is likely to be joined by a team-mate for the first time, the Arkas entry focused on securing the services of another driver in time for the first round of the campaign next March.
"Erkut has progressed very well this year and it's been a good season, we've very much enjoyed it", commented Arkas Racing's Yalcin Arsan, "But to progress more, we want to have a second driver in the team in 2008 as a priority. With two cars in the BTCC, not only will Arkas be stronger but Erkut will be able to improve even more."
At Thruxton, Erkut will also have the benefit of four complimentary race tyres which have been awarded to the Turkish star in the 2007 Dunlop Spirit of the Championship Awards for "never complaining"! Regarded as one of the true nice guys in the BTCC paddock, the award couldn't have been handed to a more deserving driver.
The opening free practice session ahead of the final three races of the 2007 BTCC season is timetabled to start at 09.30 on Saturday, 13th October, with session two set to follow at 12.10 and qualifying itself expected to get underway at 15.10.
Round 28 will begin at 11.00 on Sunday, 14th October, with round 29 following at 13.10 and round 30 scheduled for 16.20. Freeview, digital satellite and cable channel ITV4 will screen live coverage of race two and a full re-run of race one from 12.30. Race three will then be shown live on ITV1, the transmission beginning at 15.30, along with highlights from the two earlier encounters. All times are, of course, subject to change.