FLU DOESN'T DETER KIZILIRMAK'S FIGHTING SPIRIT AT THRUXTON
Erkut Kizilirmak was forced to battle the effects of a dose of flu at Thruxton Circuit over the weekend, 13th/14th October, but it didn't prevent the Arkas Racing star from scoring enough points to end his first full year of Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship action joint-eighth in the Independents Trophy.
The 38-year-old from Istanbul, President of the Arkas Automotive group, Turkey's first multi-brand car dealership network, headed into the season finale aiming to challenge for more top 10 finishes to add to those he scored during his last outing at Brands Hatch two months ago but sadly it wasn't to be through no fault of his own.
Having risen from 19th on the grid for the first of the weekend's races, round 28, to 15th position at the chequered flag, hopes were high of an even stronger result in round 29 but Erkut's race only lasted as far as the complex on lap one when he was tagged from behind and forced into retirement.
Lining up for the final race of the campaign, round 30, on the last row of the grid having been one of the first retirements from the previous race, Erkut made an excellent start in his Tech-Speed Motorsport prepared BTC-specification Vauxhall Astra Sport Hatch and had gained several places by the time the field reached the first corner, Allard.
Nudged down the order a couple more places during the next lap or so, the Turkish driver fought-back into the top 18 by lap eight but then on lap 12 more disappointment struck when his car suffered a driveshaft failure.
"It's been a difficult weekend for me as I haven't felt all that well but it was still great to be back racing in the BTCC after such a long break since we were at Brands Hatch", said Erkut, "I'm disappointed to have two non-finishes but sometimes that's the way it goes. It's been a good year though overall, I can't wait to come back next year!
"On behalf of Arkas Racing, Tech-Speed Motorsport and everyone else associated with the team, I would like to send our congratulations to all at Vauxhall and VX Racing for winning the Manufacturers Championship and, of course, to Fabrizio Giovanardi for becoming the 2007 BTCC Champion."