Andy Priaulx not only regained the championship lead in Brno, but also the maximum handicap weight. The reigning world champion will carry 80 extra kilos in Istanbul, which he previously did in Puebla. Only twice so far has the maximum ballast been imposed, the second time to Alfa Romeo's Augusto Farfus at Brno. And the results proved that it's very difficult to be competitive with it; Priaulx scored only 2 points in Mexico, while Farfus remained scoreless at Brno.

Sixteen drivers will be carrying penalty weights in Istanbul. Jörg Müller will be the second heaviest on the track, after good results in Brno cost him 70 kg of handicap. New to the list are Robert Huff and Alessandro Zanardi. The former received 15 kg after claiming his first victory at Brno, while the Italian is given 5 kg as he topped the ten-point mark in the drivers' classification.

Nearly all the works drivers have handicaps the only exceptions are Chevrolet's Nicola Larini and BMW's Duncan Huisman; while Yokohama Trophy leader Tom Coronel is the only independent to appear on the list.


Ibrahim Okyay is looking forward to his first appearance in the FIA World Touring Car Championship on his home race track.

Born 47 years ago in Istanbul, Turkey's capital city which is only half-an-hour drive from the Istanbulpark, Okyay will take part in the event at the wheel of a BMW 320i run by the Turkish Kosifler Gillette M3 Power Team, a former BMW Team Italy-Spain's car.

At the wheel of his S2000 car Okyay competes in the Gulf Track national championship, where he is currently classified third in the Maxi Group.

In previous seasons he claimed four national titles: three in the Track Championship (1997, 1999 and 2001) and one in Hillclimbing (1999).

As a newcomer to the championship he will be given a 20-kg weight handicap.


JAS Motorsport's Scottish driver Ryan Sharp will not take part in the next WTCC meeting at Istanbul. Sharp, currently second in the Yokohama Independents' Trophy, behind Tom Coronel, is due to be back at the wheel of his Honda Accord for the last two meetings of the season in Valencia and Macau.

Wiechers-Sport will run only one BMW 320i in Istanbul, for Diego Romanini; they are currently negotiating with a few drivers to run both their cars at Valencia and Macau.

-credit: fia