Barzani Racing and Isaac Tutumlu must cease racing activities.
The reach of terrorist group ISIS has gone all the way to motor sport, as Kurdistan-backed driver Isaac Tutumlu has had to curtail his 2015 racing plans.
The 29-year-old driver worked with the Barzani Racing Team, a GT squad that has recently raced its Ferrari F458 Italia throughout the world using Kurdish colors, coming just short of podium on debut at the Gulf 12 Hours in February 2014.
Team releases statement
The team said it “must stop its racing activities due to difficult political situation in the Middle East. The crisis triggered by ISIS in the area has got every country into a tight corner now,” the statement read. “This is the case of Kurdistan, as most economic activity is concentrated in Bagdad and is almost crippled. As a result, Barzani Racing Team can’t continue competing at the highest level due to a lack of funding.”
I am a Silver driver according to the FIA but I proved to be as fast as Gold or Platinum drivers ... It has drawn to the attention of several team managers and I have much to offer
While we’ve all heard stories of racing teams having to shut down due to lack of sponsorship since the sport began, emerging nations using motor sport to advance awareness of themselves is a new outlet for driver and team backing. Tutumlu, who is the first (and only) Kurdish-backed driver to have success in international competition is considering his options.
Born in Barcelona to a Kurdish father and Spanish mother, Tutumlu expressed his “gratitude to Kurdistan and its companies supporting me in motorsport in recent years. It is such a pity that at this stage at least we were forced to stop our racing activities. Motorsport turned into an international showcase of Kurdistan, but without financial backing this adventure can’t go on.”
He said he’s got some Interesting prospects in FIA’s WEC and in the Blancpain Endurance Series. “I am a Silver driver according to the FIA but I proved to be as fast as Gold or Platinum drivers,” Tutumlu declared. “It has drawn to the attention of several team managers and I have much to offer in terms of driving skills. Now we need to work on these options and decide which one is the best for my career.”