Istanbul: Rounds 17, 18 preview

OKAY: I'M EXCITED TO RACE IN THE WTCC Ibrahim Okyay, who joins the WTCC for the race of Turkey, has spoken of his excitement to race alongside the world's most talented touring car drivers. "To race in front of my home crowd in Turkey is...

OKAY: I'M EXCITED TO RACE IN THE WTCC

Ibrahim Okyay, who joins the WTCC for the race of Turkey, has spoken of his excitement to race alongside the world's most talented touring car drivers. "To race in front of my home crowd in Turkey is nothing special for me because I have done it for many years, but to be alongside men like Alessandro Zanardi is really what I'm excitied about," said the 37 year old from Istanbul.

Despite winning four national titles in his racing career, Okyay has only raced at the Istanbul Park circuit once before and commented "the other drivers have as much experience of the track as I do so I am technically a guest at my home track!" He added, "I am very pleased to be here because the WTCC is a massive championship."

MARÍA DE VILLOTA WITH CHEVROLET IN SPAIN

María de Villota, from Spain, will be the first woman to compete in the FIA World Touring Car Championship. The 26-year old from Madrid will make her maiden appearance in the WTCC Race of Spain at Valencia's Circuito Ricardo Tormo, on October 7 and 8, at the wheel of a Maurer Motorsport Chevrolet Lacetti backed by Chevrolet España.

"Being the first woman in WTCC is nothing new to me, as I was in the same position before in other championships. On the other hand, I am absolutely excited by the idea of competing against the best touring car drivers in the world," she commented.

Daughter of former Formula 1 driver Emilio de Villota, María has proved to be competitive in both single-seater and GT cars, achieving brilliant results in the Spanish F3 and Formula Toyota championships, and also in endurance races. The Switzerland-based Maurer Motorsport, that already took part in the FIA WTCC meeting at Brno, last weekend claimed the German ADAC Procar title with Vincent Radermecker, who will be María de Villota's team-mate at Valencia.

SEAT: A SEVENTH CAR FOR NOGUÉS AT VALENCIA

SEAT Sport will line up a seventh León car at the next WTCC race meeting in Valencia; the driver will be Óscar Nogués Farré, winner of the 2005 SEAT León Supercópa.

This is the third time that SEAT have given a young driver coming from their own one-make trophies the chance to make a one-off appearance in the WTCC: earlier this season Florian Gruber from Germany, winner of the 2005 SEAT European Masters, took part in the meeting at Oschersleben, while last year the 2004 SEAT León Supercópa champion Marc Carol was added to the team in Valencia, where he managed to score one point in the second race.

Prior to his victory in last year's cup, Nogués Farré claimed two national karting titles in the 1993 F-CEK and the 1994 F-Inter A and then moved to the Renault Mégane and Clio trophies, clinching the Clio Cup crown in 2003.

-credit: fia

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