Istanbul: Rounds 15, 16 preview

TURKISH DRIVER JOINS FIA WTCC IN HOME RACE Turkish motorsport fans have a further reason to attend the FIA WTCC rounds at the new Istanbul Park: the participation of a local driver. Erkut Kizilirmak will be at the wheel of a GR Asia SEAT Toledo...

TURKISH DRIVER JOINS FIA WTCC IN HOME RACE

Turkish motorsport fans have a further reason to attend the FIA WTCC rounds at the new Istanbul Park: the participation of a local driver. Erkut Kizilirmak will be at the wheel of a GR Asia SEAT Toledo Cupra car, alongside Independents' Trophy title contender Tom Coronel.

The 36 year old Kizilirmak began his motorsport activity in 1992 as a rally co-pilot, then became a car racing driver in 1996. Last year he was runner up in the 1.6-litre Class of the Turkish Touring Car Championship with an Opel Corsa. In the current season he his driving an Opel Astra Coupé in the 2.0-litre class, leading the Turkish championship with three wins in three races.

ALFA ROMEO APPEALS TO BE HEARD NEXT WEEK

The two appeals pending on the FIA WTCC's 12th round held in Spa on July 30th will be heard next week by the International Court of Appeal. The two hearings will be held on Tuesday, September 13 at the FIA headquarters in Paris; they concern the 3-second time penalty to Stefano D'Aste and the decision to consider the collision between Gabriele Tarquini, Dirk Müller and Antonio García in Race 2 as a normal race incident. The decisions are expected on Wednesday, September 14, in the afternoon.

TOURING CAR BUREAU'S LATEST DECISIONS

The Touring Car Bureau have confirmed the cars' minimum weights will remain as they were during the previous meetings in Spa amd Oschersleben.

A 10-kg reduction for all the front-wheel drive cars, plus another minus 10 kg for the Ford Focus and the Chevrolet Lacetti cars.

MAXIMUM HANDICAP FOR DIRK AND ANDY

Dirk Müller and Andy Priaulx remain on the 60-kg maximum handicap weight, while Fabrizio Giovanardi lost 15-kg after an unlucky weekend in Oschersleben. As a result of the German event, Jörg Müller has gained 35 kg, while Alessandro Zanardi joins the ballast list for the first time further to his victory in Race 2.

MAN OF THE WEEK: ADRIANO DE MICHELI

This week we spoke to Adriano De Micheli who races with JAS Motorsport. After a car- destroying crash in Puebla the Italian missed the Mexican event as well as Spa. But he came back with a vengeance at Oschersleben to claim an Independent victory in his first year in a professional championship.

How do you feel about your season so far? "To be honest I was expecting more. The first part of the season was not good for me because I had no experience and we were down on knowledge as we hadn't tested. This meant we lost out on some opportunities. It was especially disappointing in Puebla because I saw how fast my team-mate Colciago was and I felt as though I could have achieved something also."

But you came back from that to win at Oschersleben. "I had never driven there before so it was great for me and the team to get such a good result. It was even more of an achievement when you think how high the level of competition is."

Do you have any plans for next year? "I hope to finish this season well and then race again next year. It has always been a dream of mine to race in touring cars so I would love to stay in this championship. I would also be happy to stay with JAS because they are a great team and have helped me so much."

FLASH NEWS

VOYAGE: Teams are already on their way to Istanbul. On Monday the trucks will be boarded on cargo ships for a 56-hour voyage across the Adriatic, Aegean and Marmara seas, from Trieste (Italy) to Pendik, which is only 20 km from the circuit. FARFUS: Technical checks of the ECU box of Augusto Farfus' Alfa Romeo that was sealed after the Brazilian driver set pole position at Spa have been successfully completed by the FIA Technical Delegate Lionel Carre, who declared the car conform.

THEY SAID: QUOTE OF THE WEEK

Jost Capito, Ford TeamRS director, speaking about next season in an interview to weekly magazine Autosport: "Oschersleben gave an indication of the potential of the car and now we need to confirm it. We never intended to join the series for just one year, so now we have to start planning to see how we go on."

-fia-

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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Fabrizio Giovanardi , Andy Priaulx , Antonio Garcia , Dirk Müller , Jorg Muller , Augusto Farfus , Gabriele Tarquini , Stefano D'Aste , Erkut Kizilirmak