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Turkey - 13-16 Sep 18

Posted: September 15, 2018 7:12 PM - 1994 Hits

Round 10 - 2018 World Rally Championship

Live Results (Turkey 2018) Also available at: rally-base results & ewrc-results.com
Rally Radio: WRC All Live Audio Stream
News: www.wrc.com
Event Website: Rally Turkey

First stage each day - Irish/UK Times (Turkey is 2 hours ahead)
Shakedown - Thu 07:30
SS1 Thu - 18:08 (Superspecial)
SS2 Fri - 05:58
SS8 Sat - 06:35
SS14 Sun - 08:08

Devine Hoping For Turkish Delight On Season Finale

Posted: September 12, 2018 5:02 PM

Motorsport Ireland Young Rally Driver of the Year, Callum Devine, is in the final stages of preparation for the closing round of the 2018 Junior World Rally Championship (JWRC), Rally Turkey Marmaris. The round is a new addition to the 2018 series and the rugged, rock strewn roads will provide one of toughest challenges of the championship. Turkey is the culmination of a trailblazing season for the 24 year old Derry driver as he made his top flight debut. His season to date has seen him tackle events in Sweden, Corsica, Portugal and Finland and results have left Callum in 7th place in the JWRC heading into the season finale. Despite a non-finish round 3 in Portugal, he still, remarkably has an outside chance of the title.

“Mathematically, we actually still have a shot at the title here in Turkey this weekend as there is double points on offer, but even if we were to do all that was asked of us, we would still need others not to finish. To be honest, the long shot at the title is the farthest thing from my mind. This is going to a very demanding rally and going flat out here is not really an option. The stages are quite rough already so I can only imagine what they will be like after a few passes. Car and tyre management will play a big factor here, at times it may be more surviving than driving, but that’s all part of the challenge at this level” said Callum ahead of the event. Callum will once again be joined by co-driver Brian Hoy and the pair are happy with their pre event reconnaissance which will now require a few evenings looking over camera footage of the stages to fine tune their pacenotes.

Reflecting on his season, Callum continued; “It’s been an unbelievable experience to compete at this level and it really opens your eyes to the level of commitment needed. My pace has come on a lot and I’ve learned loads. Only for a puncture in Corsica and a silly mistake in Portugal, we would be a lot higher than 7th heading into the last round. I’ve done a small gravel rally at home to keep my eye in on the loose since Finland and having being so close to podium finishes twice this year, it would be a great way to end the season. I haven’t any definite plans for 2019 yet so I will be trying all I can to end this adventure on a high. I can’t thank all my family, friends and sponsors enough for all their efforts this year and Brian and Keith for keeping me under control too!”

The prize for the lucky JWRC winner, who will be crowned this weekend, will be a R5 Ford Fiesta along with support to tackle WRC2 rounds in 2019. This year’s championship has witnessed some close-fought rallying and the competition could not be tighter with 8 drivers in with a shot of the title. The drivers are equipped with identical 1 litre EcoBoost Ford Fiesta R2s, Pirelli tyres and Panta fuel. While Turkey has hosted a round of the FIA World Rally Championship before, the championship has never visited this region and absolutely everything is new. Rally Turkey Marmaris takes place between the 13th-16th of September and a short spectator stage getting proceedings underway on Thursday evening. Friday sees the rally start in earnest with 3 stages repeated twice meaning that leg 1 will be longest of the event at 147 competitive kilometres. Saturday follows the same format while the closing leg of the rally on Sunday is made up of 4 tests, a pair of new stages run once each and the Marmaris stage which will run twice and conclude the rally.

To keep up to date with Callum throughout the weekend and follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Callum’s debut season in the JWRC was supported by Motorsport Ireland, Sport Ireland, the Team Ireland Foundation, Fyth and Premier Car Parts.

FIA JUNIOR WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP RALLY TURKEY, PREVIEW

Posted: September 12, 2018 6:34 AM

The 2018 FIA Junior World Rally Championship will come to an exciting close when Rally Turkey hosts the fifth and final round this week. Double points are up for grabs, and eight of the competing crews have a mathematical chance of clinching the title.

This year’s championship has witnessed some intensely close-fought rallying and the competition could not be tighter. The protagonists are equipped with identical one-litre EcoBoost Ford Fiesta R2s shod with Pirelli tyres, and the stage is set for a showdown of epic proportions.

While Turkey has hosted a round of the FIA World Rally Championship before, the championship has never visited this region and absolutely everything is new.

The crews must do their research in advance and be completely focused in the lead-up to the event. Brand-new pacenotes must be made for every kilometre, and the correct set-ups determined for the unfamiliar terrain.

This is the ultimate test on a completely level playing field and those who emerge victorious will have demonstrated all the skills of a deserving champion.

Currently leading the championship standings is Emil Bergkvist. The Swede may not have claimed a victory so far this year, but he has been in the fight at every event and competitive on every surface. Can he secure the title with victory this weekend?

Fellow Swede Dennis Rådström will be looking to prevent that. Rådström has won more events than anyone else this year and led the championship all season before being toppled by his rival at the previous round. Victory on home soil in Sweden and was followed by an intelligent drive to the top step of the podium in Portugal, and he’ll be looking to do the same in Turkey.

Another driver keen to taste the winners’ champagne is Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Franceschi. After winning his home event at the Tour de Corse, Franceschi has proved a quick learner and challenged for the podium positions at every event.

Rally Finland winner Ken Torn is also a strong candidate for victory and championship glory. The Estonian has speed in abundance and has regularly challenged at the top of the field. A mistake-free run in Turkey could see the Estonian snatch the title.

Also in contention for the title this week are Julius Tannert, Callum Devine, Enrico Oldrati and Bugra Banaz. Despite this being a brand new event for all concerned, Tannert’s experience of the championship could work in his favour as could Devine’s calm and composed character.

Having contested just a single rally sprint before the opening round in Sweden, Oldrati would never have dreamed of being in with a shot of the title come the final round, but here he is – his determination and will to learn paying dividends.

Local hero Banaz will also be looking to give the home crowd something to cheer about. The Turkish driver has contested a number of events in his homeland, and will be hoping that gives him the advantage when it comes to reading the road and conditions.

Also in competition this week are Luca Bottarelli, David Holder, Tom Williams and Emilio Fernández – all of whom will be looking to put everything they have learnt into practice and finishing the season with a positive result.

The Junior WRC also welcomes a newcomer to the service area in the form of Raul Badiu. Having contested a number of rallies in his homeland, the Romanian will make his WRC debut in Turkey.

FIA Junior World Rally Championship Manager, Maciej Woda, said:
“We have had such a fantastic season and the fact that eight of the competing crews in Turkey are capable of taking the title just proves how close-fought the competition has been. Every single competitor can be proud of what they have achieved this year. There are so many highlights, from so many of the crews, and whoever comes out on top will be a very worthy winner.

“But as we all know, it will not be easy and Rally Turkey provides the toughest test yet. This is a completely new challenge for everyone – a level playing field where everyone will have to make brand-new pacenotes and relay on their natural ability to read the road. We’re expecting the stages to be pretty rough, and the eventual winner will have displayed intelligence as well as speed.”

DRIVER QUOTES

Emil Bergkvist said:
“I’ve really enjoyed this championship, but it’s not over yet. The goal from the beginning was to win the prize, and that is what we will remain focused on and try to do next week.”

Dennis Rådström said:
“The championship this year has been amazing with legendary events and new challenges on every surface. If we can win the championship it would be an honour as it has been a pleasure competing against all the other drivers. We have worked and fought hard and shown how far you can get by working hard. And now, we are ready to fight for the title.”

Jean-Baptiste Franceschi said:
“I’ve been really happy with my pace this year, and the championship has allowed me to learn and develop on all surfaces. I love to drive and give everything in every race, and anything is still possible in Turkey. A lot can happen and we have done as much preparation as possible so that we will have no regrets.”

Ken Torn said:
“All the rallies were new to me to me this year and I viewed the whole season as a lesson for the future. It really has been a fantastic opportunity for a young driver like me to compete on the same roads as the top-class drivers. I think Rally Turkey will be nice but also very hot inside the cars. We also need to see how hard the roads will be, but we will try to do our best.”

Julius Tannert said:
“I expected a big challenge this year and we have had some good and bad moments. Unfortunately we had no luck in Corsica and Portugal, but we will not give up in Turkey where we want to fight for another podium on the final round of the year. It will be a tough and hard rally, and everybody wants to fight for a good result at the end of the year.”

Callum Devine said:
“I’ve really enjoyed this season. The rallies have been very hard and challenging at times, but that’s what is expected at this level and the pace in this year’s championship has definitely brought me on loads with my own speed. Turkey will be new for most of us and I am looking forward to it as it should be a good even playing field. We’re expecting it to be pretty rough, so playing it smart and trying to keep out of trouble will be really important if we want to fight for the podium.”

Enrico Oldrati said:
“This was my first experience of rallying at this level and it is amazing. Every rally has allowed me to get experience with support and suggestions from the whole team. I know Turkey will be a really difficult event, but I will do my best in order to finish with a good result in the rally and the championship.”

Bugra Banaz said:
“I have really enjoyed this season and have finished all of the rallies which was my goal for the year. We’re in eighth position now, but my aim is to get into the top-five after Rally Turkey. This is a very special event for me as it is my home event and I am very motivated to do well here. We want to win and take maximum points on home soil.”

Luca Bottarelli said:
“I think it has been an amazing year with fantastic opportunities. I have learnt so much and I am sure that I will learn even more in Turkey where we will try to achieve the best possible result.”

David Holder said:
“It has been a tough year for us, but we’ve learnt so much at each event and there’s no doubt that it’s made me a better driver all round. I’ve particularly enjoyed spending time with all those involved in the championship – both the team and the other competitors. We’ve struggled a bit with speed and consistency all year, so in Turkey we’ll be looking to put down our best performance.”

Tom Williams said:
“The championship this year has been fantastic and really pushed me on. Much appreciation has to be given to all the hard work from everyone behind the scenes which has made everything run smoothly. The competition is very demanding so I have been through lots of ups and downs, but I’ve enjoyed every second of it and come away with some invaluable experience. In Turkey we want to continue where we left off in Finland – continuing our progress with a clean event. I imagine the conditions in Turkey will be similar to those in Portugal, so we will have to drive a clever rally.”

Emilio Fernández said:
“The championship was very enjoyable and now I am ready for Rally Turkey. It has been very nice to be a part of this championship, and a dream to walk in the same service park as the best rally drivers in the world. I don’t know too much about Turkey or what to expect, but for sure I think there will be a lot of rocks.”

Raul Badiu said:
“The FIA Junior World Rally Championship is rallying at the highest level – a championship where the best juniors in the world are competing for the biggest prize in rally; right under the eyes of the team managers. This is the best step I can make towards becoming a professional rally driver. I am expecting to compete in a very professional environment alongside true professionals. Regarding a result for me, it is too early to expect anything spectacular as this is my first rally outside Romania and with a car I have never driven before. First on the list is gathering kilometres and experience, then I will set higher targets. I am excited to be part of this great championship and looking forward to competing alongside the best drivers in the world.”

FIVE-DAY SAILING PRIZE FOR RALLY TURKEY’S WRC 2 CATEGORY WINNER

Posted: September 12, 2018 6:21 AM

Five days after announcing that the outright winner of next week’s Rally Turkey will win a week’s holiday aboard ‘Bebe’, a luxury 47-metre super yacht, rally officials announced today (Friday) that the winner of the prestigious WRC 2 category would win five days aboard a state-of-the-art gulet – a traditional two-masted Turkish sailing vessel.

The stunning prize has been donated by TURK YACHT (https://www.turkyacht.com), a company that was established at the end of 1998 by Eyup Bayraktaroglu and Tufan Gules. TURK YACHT manages and operates various quality charter yachts, in addition to offering brokerage and management services and other support to high-end customers.

The company has a wide range of yachts available for charter in Turkey and the Greek islands and offers customers and the winner of WRC 2 in Rally Turkey a fabulous opportunity to experience a sailing holiday of a lifetime in one of the most beautiful regions of the world.

The WRC 2 category is the most popular amongst leading privateer and semi-professional teams in the FIA World Rally Championship and provides a superb stepping-stone into a World Rally Car for the leading contenders.

Rally Turkey has attracted 15 entries in the WRC 2 category and marks the first time that arch title rivals Jan Kopecký and Pontus Tidemand will go head-to-head on a WRC event this season. The Czech and the Swede both drive Škoda Fabia R5s and are separated by just seven points heading to their showdown in Marmaris.

Kopecký has taken four victories from as many starts in 2018 in Monte-Carlo, Corsica, Sardinia and Germany, while his Swedish rival won in Mexico, Argentina and Portugal and finished second behind Japan’s Takamoto Katsuta in Sweden. Victory in Finland fell to Eerik Pietarinen on his only appearance so far this year.

Other drivers keen to upset the applecart and challenge for the TURK YACHT prize next weekend include England’s Gus Greensmith and Chris Ingram, Chile’s Pedro Heller, Portugal’s Diogo Salvi, Poland’s Kajetan Kajetanowicz and the experienced Turkish drivers, Murat Bostanci, Ya?ic Avci, Burak Çukorova, Deniz Fahri, Erkan Güral and Bora Manyera.

“We are grateful to TURK YACHT for offering this superb prize to the winner of the WRC 2 section of Rally Turkey next week,” enthused Serkan Yazici, President of TOSFED. “This is one of the most competitive categories in the world and we are sure that the drivers and teams will enjoy the challenging special stages that we have laid on in the Marmaris and Mu?la regions.”

The ceremonial start of Rally Turkey will take place at the historic Marmaris Meydan area of the town from 19.30hrs next Thursday (September 13th).

Hyundai Motorsport Preview: Turkey

Posted: September 12, 2018 6:19 AM

Hyundai Motorsport heads to new territory next week as the tenth round of the 2018 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) takes place on the gravel roads of Turkey for the first time since 2010.

Despite playing host to WRC events in the past, this year’s Rally Turkey will be held in Mu?la Province in the south-west of the country, offering a brand new challenge for all competitors. The Service Park will be hosted in Asparan, close to the coastal port city of Marmaris.

Turkey can be considered the home of the i20, as the road car - on which the team’s WRC challenger is based - is produced at Hyundai Assan Izmit plant, close to Istanbul. The facility, which has an annual maximum capacity of 245,000 units, currently manufactures the i10 and i20 models, and acts as Hyundai Motor Company’s gateway to Europe, together with its Czech factory.

Hyundai Motorsport will field a three-car line-up for its maiden trip to Turkey with Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jæger (#4), championship leaders Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (#5), and Hayden Paddon/Seb Marshall (#6) in the respective Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC cars.

Although no testing has been permitted in Turkey, all crews have recently tested on gravel in the south of France to prepare for the event. The real challenge will come once crews are able to complete recce in the build-up to the rally, creating pace notes from scratch.

The itinerary includes 17 special stages, held over a total distance of 312km with the rally acting as an intensive learning curve for drivers and co-drivers. Hot temperatures and rough routes are expected to put the complete car package to the ultimate test. The unpredictable nature of the event is likely to create a rally full of action and surprise as the 2018 season builds to an exciting conclusion.

With just four events left to run, Hyundai Motorsport holds a slender 13-point lead in the manufacturers’ championship. Neuville tops the drivers’ table with a 23-point advantage over Sébastien Ogier, with Ott Tanak chasing in third. It means the Belgian will have the honour – and probable handicap – of being first on the road for the all-new Rally Turkey.

Team Principal Michel Nandan commented: “It has been quite some time since we visited a new location for a WRC event, so we are all excited to discover what Turkey has to offer. We will only truly find out what challenges await us once we experience the routes for the first time. Regulations have prevented us from testing there in advance, but all crews have had the chance to prepare in the south of France. As a brand new rally, it will be a completely level playing field. Teams will be constantly honing and improving the settings of their cars, while crews will have a tough job to create and update new pace notes for all 17 stages. We have to take the rally one stage at a time; the battle for victory could go in any direction.”

WRC Crew Notes: Mikkelsen/Jæger (#4 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
Previously competed in Turkey back in 2008
Moved into drivers’ championship top-five after Rallye Deutschland

Mikkelsen said: “I took part in Rally Turkey back in 2008, which was held in a completely different part of the country to where we will be rallying next week. It’s going to be a totally new experience for all competitors and one that will undoubtedly spring some surprises. From what we have seen, it appears we will be competing on rough roads and in very hot conditions, which will be tough on the crews, cars, tyres and brakes. All in all, it will be a nice new challenge and one I am looking forward to.”

WRC Crew Notes: Neuville/Gilsoul (#5 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
Leading drivers’ championship by 23 points
Took part in Rally Turkey in 2010 on stages in the north of the country

Neuville said: “Rally Turkey will be a step into the unknown for everyone. We don’t know much about the stages, but we have had the chance to see some video footage. It seems like the roads will be very rough. From our position as first on the road, I am expecting a tricky weekend. I like new rallies and new challenges; it keeps the championship fresh and offers teams and crews something entirely new to tackle. My main target is to enjoy the rally and, of course, to do all we can to preserve our position at the head of the championship.”

WRC Crew Notes: Paddon/Marshall (#6 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
Participated in Rally Turkey in 2010 on roads near to Istanbul
Returns for fifth WRC event of the season

Paddon said: “I can’t wait to get back into WRC action; it feels like a long time since Finland! Turkey promises to be an unpredictable rally for everyone. I competed there back in 2010 but in a different part of the country so that experience is not comparable to what we’ll encounter next week. It looks like the stages will be twisty, rough and very hot, resembling an old Cyprus rally. As with any new event there are lots of unknowns, but we’re as prepared as we can be. We’ll definitely give it a good crack.”

Bite-size Turkey

17 special stages over 312km, starting on Thursday evening with a street stage in Marmaris
Friday will be the longest individual day of the rally, totalling 145km of stages north-east of the Asparan service park with a repeat loop of three stages
Saturday follows a similar pattern but in the western part of the region, covering almost 131km of timed tests
Four stages on Sunday morning will include two runs through Marmaris, the latter acting as the rally concluding Power Stage with its finale at the Service Park.

Toyota Yaris WRC to take on new ground in Turkey

Posted: September 12, 2018 6:18 AM

The TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team faces a brand new challenge on Rally Turkey (September 13-16): the 10th round of this year's FIA World Rally Championship and a new addition to the calendar for this season. The Toyota Yaris WRC, driven by Jari-Matti Latvala, Ott Tänak and Esapekka Lappi, will take on the gravel event fresh from back-to-back victories in Finland and Germany.

This will be the first WRC round in Turkey since 2010, and will be based in Marmaris on the Mediterranean coast. A mixture of smooth roads close to Marmaris and rockier mountain tracks to the north near Mugla are anticipated, but all of the stages will be brand new to the crews, who will use the pre-event recce to create their pace-notes from scratch. With testing in Turkey before the rally not permitted, the Yaris WRC was instead put through its paces on gravel in Portugal last week.

The rally will begin on Thursday evening with a street stage in Marmaris before two loops of three stages on Friday near Mugla. On Saturday the rally heads west for three stages all run twice, and the rally concludes on Sunday with four stages, including the Power Stage that will finish right by the service park.

Quotes:

Tommi Mäkinen (Team Principal)
“The last two rallies have been brilliant for us and our aim is of course to continue in that way, but there are many unknowns about Turkey for every team because it is a new rally. I did drive in Turkey when the WRC went for the first time in 2003: I remember that the conditions were very hard and the roads were pretty rough, but we are going to a different area this time and we don't know exactly what the nature of the stages will be. We have been preparing as well as we possibly can and we had a good test last week in the south of Portugal, where hopefully we simulated the conditions that we will face very well, especially the high temperatures.”

Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 7)
“This is the first time for many years that I am preparing for a completely new WRC event. There are many unknowns: you have to do new pace-notes, you don't know the characteristics of the roads and you don't know how they will change for the second pass. I remember from when we went to Turkey in 2008, near Antalya, that it was very hot. The long stages were very demanding and very hard on the tyres. From what I have seen so far, I think there will be some similarities to that rally and also to the Acropolis Rally. The pre-event test was really good for me. I was very happy with the car and we made some good steps with the suspension.”

Ott Tänak (Driver car 8)
“Obviously we have had some very good results recently, but I am still taking it rally-by-rally. It is difficult to have any expectations for Turkey as we don't have a lot of know-how about the rally. Everybody is talking about it being a rough event: we will have to wait and see how it is on the recce. We certainly know that it will be hot. I think that our pre-event test in the south of Portugal was good preparation for that and we are doing everything we can to be ready and be competitive. Now there is not too much more we can do until we get there and see the stages for ourselves.”

Esapekka Lappi (Driver car 9)
“We should expect the unexpected in Turkey. The information we have is that it will be rough with a lot of loose gravel, and that tyre management will be key. For that reason, the long afternoon loops will be crucial, I think. We saw on our test that the tyre wear is quite high when you have rough roads and it's 35 degress outside. In general the test went very well and I think we managed to find some nice settings with the car. I am looking forward to the challenge: it's a chance to learn something new. So far, being early on the road on loose gravel has not been a strong point for me, so I will try to improve that.”

TURKISH DELIGHT FOR THE C3 WRCs

Posted: September 12, 2018 6:15 AM

Round ten of the 2018 season will see the C3 WRC experience Turkey for the first time, a country where its elder sister – the Xsara WRC – secured the brand's first win on gravel in the WRC and which will be hosting a world rally championship round for the seventh time. Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT will once again look to Craig Breen – Scott Martin, Mads Østberg – Torstein Eriksen and Khalid Al Qassimi – Chris Patterson to defend its chances.

THE HUB MOVES TO MARMARIS

The eruption of the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjöll back in 2010, and the disruption to air traffic it caused, held up the WRC bandwagon in Turkey the last time the rally was part of the WRC, but the championship has not been back to the country since then. On its return to the WRC this year, the rally will be based in Marmaris, a Mediterranean seaside resort on the Turkish Riviera and its third hub after Kemer (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2008) and Istanbul (2010). Despite moving the hub, the characteristics and difficulties of the event remain largely unchanged, described as being halfway between Rally de Sardegna and the Acropolis Rally. Initial feedback reported by those sent ahead to Turkey suggests that the rally will be once again technically difficult, with rock-strewn, loose gravel roads that will clean. The conditions also look set to be demanding for the cars and tyres, with very high temperatures expected. An unfamiliar test for the entire WRC field, the Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT crews are nonetheless determined not to be left behind, making the most of their efficient taking of pace notes, their ability to adapt and their sense of improvisation. Not forgetting, of course, that the brand holds the record number of overall victories in this country, winning four of the six rallies held here as part of the WRC.

A BIG TEST FOR STARTERS

The team has certainly prepared well for the rally with a three-day pre-event test in the Aude, reputed to have some of the roughest roads among the commonly-used test bases. Whilst Mads Østberg and Craig Breen will be attempting to make the most of their favourable starting position on the opening leg (eighth and ninth in the running order respectively) as they look to secure the team's fourth podium of the season, Khalid Al Qassimi will be making his third appearance of 2018 in the C3 WRC and will be determined to pick up his pace in the car during the weekend. Following a city-centre super-special stage on Thursday evening, the serious stuff starts on Friday with Çetibeli, which, at over thirty-eight kilometres, is the longest stage of the weekend. No messing about here, the crews will be straight into action at a race that promises to produce some surprises…

WHAT THEY SAID

Pierre Budar, Citroën Racing Team Principal
"This rally is new for everyone, so all the teams and crews will start off on an equal footing. It looks set to be a very open race. Reliability might be one of the key factors this weekend, but we know we can count on the strength of our C3 WRC. Although we have a solid base, we'll need to adapt quickly to the conditions in any adjustments to the set-up, whilst the crews will have to be efficient when taking pace notes during recce so they can tackle the first pass on the stages with confidence."

Craig Breen
"The aim is really to get through the opening leg without any hiccups. If we manage to do that, we should be right up there, in the mix and well placed for the rest of the rally. It's difficult to take any real information from the on-board footage recorded by the organiser in a production car. One thing is sure, however: the course looks very interesting, with a good variety of roads, some narrow, technical and rough, others much quicker."

Number of appearances at the event: 1
Best result: 22nd (2010)

Mads Østberg
"We're expecting it to be hot this weekend. It's going to be a technically-difficult, demanding rally for the cars and that's what we prepared for during our pre-event test in the Aude. I'm feeling pretty confident because I always produce decent performances on this kind of surface. And the C3 WRC is even more efficient and easier to drive than it was in Sardinia, which is the last event contested on similar types of road. We're also going to be able to use some of the things we learned in Finland on this surface."

Khalid Al Qassimi
"I'm delighted to be back behind the wheel of my C3 WRC, especially at a new event. It's always exciting to contest brand new stages for the first time, especially as we're expecting fairly difficult conditions. I've always felt comfortable at events like this. I have some good memories of the Acropolis Rally, for example. It's always a question of finding the right balance between pushing and looking after the car."

Number of appearances at the event: 2
Best result: 33rd (2005)

KEY FIGURES

17 timed stages covering a total of 312.44 km
33 degrees celsius, the maximum temperature forecast in Marmaris for the week of the rally
4 overall wins secured by Citroën in six appearances at Rally Turkey: Carlos Sainz in 2003 (Xsara WRC), Sébastien Loeb from 2004 to 2005 (Xsara WRC), and then again in 2010 (C4 WRC)

A RALLY, A CHALLENGE

The challenge of taking pace notes for the first time

At the rallies that appear every year on the calendar, the crews generally compile their pace notes beforehand for the stages or portions of stages that are unchanged from previous years. In recce, all they then have to do is make pace notes for any new sections and make a few corrections for the stages they are already familiar with. The situation will be different for them this year in Turkey, where they will need to draw up pace notes for each of the 313 kilometres of timed stages. This means the crews will have to pay very close attention during recce, to produce a precise and consistent description of the difficulties they will face. Once racing gets underway, they won't be able to compensate for any shortcomings in their pace notes with knowledge of the roads. They will need to trust their pace notes fully, which may lead to large gaps appearing between the cars…

CITROËN SECRETS

Didier Clément, Technical and Sporting Coordinator, recalls…
"I remember the very first time that Rally Turkey was held, in 2003, based in Kemer at the time. The rally was special for us because it was Citroën's first win on gravel in the WRC, and it was also Carlos Sainz's first victory with the team. It also came in just the third race of the season, in our first year full-time in the championship, and after the famous one-two-three at Monte. We were still relatively inexperienced on this surface and our mechanics produced a minor feat in every service, as they tried to compensate for the lack of strength of the Xsara WRC's bodywork."

M-SPORT FORD IN SEARCH OF TURKISH DELIGHT

Posted: September 12, 2018 6:10 AM

M-Sport Ford World Rally Team will revisit an old friend next week as the FIA World Rally Championship returns to Turkey – the home of Ford commercials including the Transit. The team secured one-two finishes at the event in 2006 and 2009, and are determined to deliver more Turkish delight this year.

Based around the holiday resort of Marmaris, this year’s event offers a completely new challenge with speed tests never before used on the world stage. The team have no previous data from these stages, and the crews have to make their pacenotes from scratch – making this the ultimate test on a completely level playing field.

In preparation for the challenges ahead, the team travelled to Greece where they completed a four-day test on roads similar to those anticipated next week. The team also have the advantage of being able to choose between chassis, and all three EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta WRCs will carry the original aero package.

The upgrades carried on the leading Fiesta in Finland and Germany provided increased performance at high speed, but in Turkey – where the average speeds will be considerably lower – the team have the luxury of opting for proven durability.

But it’s not just the main class that M-Sport Ford fans should keep an eye on next week. Of the 14 local crews in attendance, 12 will compete behind the wheel of the Fiesta and the Blue Oval accounts for a mammoth 67 percent of the overall entry.

The three Fiesta WRCs are joined by the older-specification Ford Fiesta RS WRC of Yazeed Al-Rajhi, and 10 EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta R5s will also tackle the loose gravel stages – eight of which as part of the WRC 2 category.

An impressive 21 one-litre EcoBoost Ford Fiesta R2s have also been entered – most of which will go head-to-head for one of the biggest prizes in motorsport as Rally Turkey hosts the final round of the FIA Junior World Rally Championship where nine drivers have a mathematical chance of clinching the title.

Team Principal, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:
“It’s been a long time since we last welcomed a brand-new event to the championship, and I’m sure we’re all in for an exciting weekend of rallying. While we have been to Turkey before, we’ve not visited this region and absolutely everything will be new to both the team and the crews.

“We have no previous data from the stages and the crews will have to make pacenotes from scratch. With the other events becoming more and more familiar, this is something completely different and it will be interesting to see who masters the challenge.

“We’re hoping to do just that and both Sébastien and Elfyn had two days of testing in Greece to best prepare for the challenges ahead. Sébastien may be hampered by his early running order, but both could be in with a chance of challenging for the top results.

“Teemu had to go without a test on this occasion, but he should not be discounted for a strong result. He is such a quick learner and this is a new event which provides something of a level playing field, so it will be interesting to see what he can do.”

SÉBASTIEN OGIER/ JULIEN INGRASSIA
When the FIA World Rally Championship last visited Turkey, Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia were a month shy of claiming their maiden victory. Eight years later and the Frenchman have 43 wins and five championship titles to their name.

The reigning champions will have their work cut out as only the second car on the road through the opening day of competition, but have their sights firmly set on a strong haul of points to reignite their championship defence.

Previous starts: 1
Best result: 4th (2010)

Sébastien Ogier said:
“Rally Turkey will be an interesting event for sure as no one really knows what to expect. This is the first completely new event for a long time and, even though I contested the rally in 2010, next week’s event will be completely different.

“There will be a lot of work to do on the recce, and Julien [Ingrassia, co-driver] will have to write brand-new notes for every single kilometre! It’ll be a lot of work, but I’m looking forward to the challenge and to discovering what these new stages will be like.

“Our goal is to deliver the best possible result, but the loose gravel will make it a challenge. We’ll be the second car on the road and there will be a lot of fast drivers benefiting from a cleaner and faster road behind. We’ll need to try and stay as close as we can on Friday morning and then see where we are after that.

“The most important thing is to score a strong haul of points for our championship defence, and that is what we will focus on.”

ELFYN EVANS/ DANIEL BARRITT
Elfyn Evans and Daniel Barritt will face a brand-new challenge when they venture to Rally Turkey next week; but their determination and will to succeed remains as strong as ever.

Working hard in the lead-up to the event, the British pairing are well prepared and will look to use their later running order to their advantage whilst challenging for the top positions.

Elfyn Evans said:
“We’ll be taking a step into the unknown with a brand-new rally next week. I’m sure it will be an interesting weekend and I’m looking forward to discovering what the Turkish stages have to offer.

“For sure it will be hot, and we’ll need to be prepared for that. It also looks as though it could be quite loose which would give us a good road position for the first day; but it also has the potential to be fairly rough and everyone will need to have their wits about them.

“We completed our pre-event test on some pretty rough roads in Greece and the Fiesta proved as strong as ever. We’ve had to do a lot of preparation to get ready for this one, and the hard work will only continue next week.

“We’re as prepared as we can be and I think we’re all looking forward to experiencing something completely new – where the aim is to be in the fight for the top positions.”

TEEMU SUNINEN/ MIKKO MARKKULA
Teemu Suninen and Mikko Markkula will be in good company when they tackle the stages of Rally Turkey for the first time next week – their rivals, for once, not having the advantage of experience.

The Finns may not have had a pre-event test, but Suninen has proved himself a quick learner time and again. That, coupled with his advantageous running order on the first day, means that the young Finn should not be discounted for a strong result.

Teemu Suninen said:
“Whereas most of the rallies this year have been new only for me, this one will be new for everyone. That will make things really interesting and could bring me an opportunity as we will all be equal on experience before the first stage.

“No one is allowed is test in Turkey so we’ll all experience the roads for the first time during the recce and then the shakedown. Set-up wise, I’ll discuss with my team mates first to see what they have experienced and discovered. Otherwise, I will need to make my own conclusions and choices.

“As for what to expect, I have never been to Turkey before and will travel out a little earlier than usual to get a feel for everything. I’m expecting it to be a very hot rally and very demanding, but I hope to deliver a good result.”

RALLY TURKEY SET TO DECIDE OUTCOME OF FIVE-ROUND FIA JUNIOR WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP (JWRC)

Posted: September 12, 2018 6:02 AM

Double points will be on offer at this weekend’s Rally Turkey for drivers taking part in the FIA Junior World Rally Championship (JWRC) in what promises to be a thrilling finale to the rookie category on the Turkish Riveira.

Rally Turkey has attracted 13 Juniors amongst the 14 WRC 3 entrants. Sweden’s Emil Bergkvist arrives in the tourist town of Marmaris with a 14-point lead in the JWRC category over fellow countryman Dennis Rådström. The advantage is largely irrelevant with 50 points available to the winner and a point on offer for each stage win. The championship is very much still wide open.

The 24-year-old category leader has yet to claim a victory this season, but second places in Sweden and Finland and third in Corsica have given him the advantage, despite Rådström taking victories in both Sweden and Portugal. His rival’s downfall was a costly accident in Finland. Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Franceschi, on the other hand, won in Corsica and has done well enough on the non-JWRC rounds - including taking the win in Sardinia - to have forged into an 11-point lead in the FIA WRC 3 category. “Anything is possible here,” claimed the Frenchman. “A lot can happen and we have done as much preparation as possible so that we will have no regrets.”

Estonian Ken Torn finds himself in contention for the title following an impressive victory in Finland, while Julius Tannert also has an outside chance of claiming the title along with the likes of Callum Devine and Enrico Oldrati. Terry Folb is still recovering from a torn clavicle ligament sustained in an August mountain biking accident.

Fifteen drivers have scored points in the series so far this year, including Turkey’s sole representative Bu?ra Banaz at the wheel of a Ford Fiesta R2. The 26-year-old Castrol Ford Team Turkey driver hails from the town of Eski?ehir and lies ninth in the points’ standings. While the JWRC title takes centre stage, Franceschi will be hoping to extend his advantage in the WRC 3 two-wheel drive R2 category for cars powered by 1.6-litre turbocharged engines. He currently holds the advantage over Finland’s Taisko Lario, Rådström and Bergkvist. Lario has moved into late contention for the title after finishing second in Sardinia and claiming the win in Germany recently.

As officials, media and team personnel from all across the world continue to arrive in Turkey, priority and non-priority drivers have now completed the first day of their stage reconnaissance for the 17-stage event.

Tomorrow (Wednesday), FIA Priority drivers will be able to carry out low-speed passes through the remainder of the special stages before the official five-kilometre Shakedown gets underway on Thursday morning at De?irmenyani.

2018 FIA JWRC Championship – latest positions:

    1. Emil Bergkvist (SWE) 88 pts
    2. Dennis Radström (SWE) 74 pts
    3. Jean-Baptiste Franceschi (FRA) 62 pts
    4. Ken Torn (EST) 49 pts
    5. Julius Tannert (DEU) 31 pts
    6. Terry Folb (FRA) 30 pts
    7. Callum Devine (IRL) 28 pts
    8. Enrico Oldrati (ITA) 22 pts
    8. Bu?ra Banaz (TUR) 22 pts
    10. Luca Bottarelli (ITA) 20 pts, etc

NEUVILLE, OGIER AND TANAK SET TO RESUME THEIR GRIPPING THREE-WAY WRC FIGHT IN RALLY TURKEY

Posted: September 12, 2018 5:55 AM

Belgian driver Thierry Neuville has a superb opportunity to move a step closer to a maiden FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) title at this weekend’s Rally Turkey.

On the country’s return to the WRC for the first time since 2010, none of the demanding rock-strewn gravel special stages in the Marmaris and Mu?la areas are known to the leading drivers. That means that it is a level playing field for the leading crews with starting positions and running order likely to be a crucial deciding factor on stages that could potentially clean over time. It also placed additional importance on the two days of reconnaissance sessions that finished today (Wednesday).

Neuville drives one of three Hyundai i20 Coupe WRCs in the event and arrives at the start with a 23-point advantage over the defending multiple champion Sébastien Ogier.

The man in form in recent weeks, however, has been Estonia’s Ott Tänak of the Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team. He survived a titanic battle with Citroën’s Mads Østberg to claim victory in Finland, after the pair had traded top spot on four occasions, and followed that performance with a stunning success in Germany.

The German win enabled Tänak to equal his fellow countryman Markko Martin’s record of five WRC wins and has catapulted the Toyota Yaris WRC driver into a comfortable third place in the title race – 36 points behind Neuville and a mere 13 adrift of Ogier. Two rallies before, the Estonian trailed the series leader by 72 points and Ogier by 45! “I am still focusing on rally-by-rally and not the championship,” he said defiantly.

With pre-event testing banned in Turkey, Toyota ventured to southern Portugal to try and seek out similar gravel roads and weather conditions. High ambient temperatures caused problems for the Yaris WRCs on oxygen-starved roads in Mexico in March and team principal Tommi Mäkinen is keen to maintain the momentum.

Neuville is convinced that he is now embroiled in a three-way fight for the title, despite finishing second in Germany. A possible 120 points are still available to the winner at the remaining rallies in Turkey, Wales, Spain and Australia, including a maximum five Power Stage points per rally, and that makes the permutations fascinating heading into the autumn showdowns.

Both Neuville and Ogier have destiny in their own hands at this point but maximum points for Tänak could still see the Estonian potentially falling short of his target. Punishing temperatures in the mid thirties centigrade, dust and excessive tyre wear could also be critical factors over the weekend.

Ogier tackled the last of the WRC Turkish events to be staged in 2010 and finished fourth. That event took place around a month shy of the Frenchman claiming the first of his 43 WRC wins.

The five-time WRC champion said: “This is the first completely new event for a long time. There’s a lot of work to do on the recce with brand new notes for every single kilometre. Our goal is the best possible result, but the loose gravel will be a challenge and a lot of fast drivers will be benefiting from a cleaner and faster road behind. The most important this is to score a strong haul of points. That is what we will focus on.”

The three-way battle amongst the drivers also brings a similar tussle between rival manufacturers into play. Hyundai leads the Manufacturers’ Championship by just 13 points from Toyota, while M-Sport Ford are a mere 17 further adrift.

Things can change swiftly with two drivers scoring points for their registered teams and a couple of podium finishes for Ogier and Elfyn Evans could easily hand the Blue Oval a superb opportunity of retaining the title they earned in Wales last autumn.

The Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team is a distant fourth, but Østberg has been in excellent form since joining the team for the remainder of the season at the expense of Kris Meeke and Craig Breen is also overdue a good finish after several positive recent performances. A recent three-day test session in the Aude in south-central France could be beneficial.

The French team has a good track record in Turkey, a place where the Xsara WRC secured the brand’s first gravel win. Besides, Citroëns won four of the six Turkish WRC events that ran in the past.

Østberg said: “We’re expecting it to be hot. It’s going to be a technically difficult and demanding rally and that’s why we prepared in the Aude. I’m feeling pretty confident because I always produce decent performances on this kind of surface. The car is more efficient and easier to drive than it was in Sardinia and we will use some of the things we learned in Finland on this surface.”

Hyundai and Toyota will be hoping that Andreas Mikkelsen and Jari-Matti Latvala can also push for the podium and boost their Manufacturers’ title chances. The Norwegian and the Finn lie fifth and seventh in the Drivers’ Championship after nine rounds, with Latvala’s team-mate Esapekka Lappi holding fourth place and Spaniard Dani Sordo shadowing Hyundai colleague Mikkelsen in sixth.

Thirteen World Rally Cars are on the 52-car entry list. Finn Teemu Suninen drives the third of the M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRCs and Kiwi Hayden Paddon wheels out the third Hyundai.

Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Khalid Al-Qassimi – who makes his third WRC start of the season - drives the third official Citroën C3 WRC and Saudi Arabia’s Yazeed Al-Rajhi has the number 21 on the side of his privately-run, older-specification Ford Fiesta RS WRC.

Thursday

Tomorrow, a hectic day’s timetable gets underway with the opportunity for crews to carry out multiple passes through a five-kilometre Shakedown stage at De?irmenyani to work on the most effective car set-up for rally weekend.

This precedes the official FIA pre-event press conference in the Media Centre at Asparan and the ceremonial start at historic Marmaris Meydan from 19.30hrs. A short super special stage in the centre of Marmaris then gets the timed action underway from 20.08hrs.

LUXURY YACHT HOLIDAY TO BE OFFERED TO RALLY TURKEY’S WINNING DRIVER

Posted: September 3, 2018 2:27 PM

A week’s holiday aboard ‘Bebe’, a luxury 47-metre super yacht, will be the star prize offered to the winner of Rally Turkey, round 10 of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), at the finish of the four-day rally in Marmaris on Sunday, September 16th.

Officials at the Turkish Automobile Sports Federation (TOSFED) have released a promotional video (see link below) outlining details of the sensational star prize being offered to the driver who conquers the 17 special stages through the Marmaris and Mu?la regions on the event’s return to the WRC for the first time since 2010.

‘Bebe’ is a custom-built 47-metre motor yacht that was built by Vos Marine in 2015. The sophisticated exterior design and engineering was the work of SETA Design, while the plush and luxurious interior was the work of BTA Design.

The yacht sleeps up to 12 guests in six rooms and is capable of carrying 10 crew. ‘Bebe’ has a cruising speed of 13 knots and a maximum speed of 17 knots. On-board amenities include a barbecue, piano, swimming pool, deck jacuzzi, wifi and air conditioning.

“’Bebe’ is a stunning super yacht and I am sure the winning driver and his family and friends will enjoy a memorable holiday aboard,” said Serkan Yazici, President of TOSFED. “The Turkish Riviera offers stunning scenery, beaches, coves and mooring points and the winner of Rally Turkey will be able to relax and enjoy the region in luxurious surroundings.”

Turkey’s return to the WRC gets underway with the ceremonial start in the historic Marmaris Meydan area of the town from 19.30hrs on Thursday, September 13th.

Entry List

Posted: August 27, 2018 6:39 AM

RALLY TURKEY OFFICIALS ANNOUNCE CHALLENGING ROUTE FOR WRC RETURN

Posted: July 28, 2018 4:08 PM

Rally Turkey organisers have now released the itinerary for the 10th round of the 2018 FIA World Rally Championship, which takes place on September 13-16.

Officials at the Turkish Automobile Sports Federation (TOSFED) have laid on a competitive route of 317.28 kilometres in a compact total of 896.08 kilometres through the Marmaris and Mu?la regions that hosted an official FIA candidate rally last October.

The event’s Service Park will be located at Asparan, a mere 6.69km from De?irmenyani, which will host the five-kilometre Shakedown stage on Thursday, September 13.

The start ceremony is sure to attract thousands of rally fans, holidaymakers and enthusiasts to the historic location of Marmaris Meydan from 19.30hrs on Thursday evening. This precedes the opening Marmaris super special stage of 2.45km, starting close to the podium at 20.08hrs.

The longest stage of the entire event is also the first of the gravel stages on Friday morning that is also repeated in the afternoon. The Çetibeli special runs for 38.10km from 07.58hrs and is sure to provided its fair share of early surprises before the action continues with the first of two runs through the Ula (21.90km) and Çiçekil (12.55km) stages that are also repeated in the afternoon. Crews will tackle 145.10km of competition on the opening day.

Action resumes on Saturday morning (September 15) with the first of two runs through another three gravel stages, starting with the 36.00km of Ye?ilbelde at 08.35hrs. Runs through Datça (10.70km) and Içmeler (20.40km) follow at 10.08hrs and 11.11hrs respectively, and the three timed tests are repeated at 13.25hrs, 15.08hrs and 16.11hrs after a return to Asparan for the midday service and regroup.

There will be four special stages on the final morning (Sunday, September 16) starting with the first of two passes through the Marmaris special of 7.12km at 10.08hrs that finishes at the Service Park and will give teams a chance to make their final preparations for the second run that will act as the event’s final Power Stage (13.18hrs).

Before the points-scoring finale on the Power Stage, teams will tackle one pass through the Ovacik (8.04km) special from 10.46hrs and the Gökçe stage of 13.25km, starting at 11.24hrs.

Rally Turkey’s Clerk of the Course and ASN Sporting Director Murat Kaya said: “This year we are celebrating the return of Turkey to the WRC calendar following our last WRC rally, held close to Istanbul in 2010.

“With Rally Turkey now taking place in Marmaris and its surrounding area, the rally will offer superb stages and an insight into the fascinating history and culture of this ancient land and its breathtaking views. We have been working hard to offer a rally experience that sets new standards for the whole WRC with a compact route and efficient organisation of stages.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Governorships of Mu?la and its districts together with the Mayors of Mu?la and Marmaris Municipalities for their full support throughout our preparations for Rally Turkey.”

The event first joined the prestigious WRC calendar in 2003 and was last held in 2010.

Event Website

Posted: July 28, 2018 4:07 PM

Turkey endorsed for 2018 WRC after successful pilot event

Posted: November 2, 2017 10:56 AM

Turkey was today (Wednesday) confirmed in next season’s FIA World Rally Championship calendar by the sport’s governing body.

The FIA’s WRC Commission rubber-stamped the country’s return after a seven-year absence following a successful dress rehearsal on Turkey’s Turquoise Coast last weekend.

M-Sport World Rally Team and Toyota Gazoo Racing sent representatives to the picturesque south-west holiday resort of Marmaris to observe the three-day dirt road rally, which was provisionally listed in the calendar a month ago.

They were joined by WRC Promoter management, WRC rally director Jarmo Mahonen and FIA safety delegate Michèle Mouton. All were impressed by the high standards of organisation, the quality of the special stages and the service park facilities.

“We wanted to observe a rally that is fit to take its place at the WRC’s top table,” said WRC Promoter managing director Oliver Ciesla. “The organising team at TOSFED delivered that and my congratulations go to them for securing a deserved place in the 2018 calendar.

“Next year’s fixture will be one of the most compact in the sport’s history. The special stages hug the coast with amazing backdrops overlooking the sea and WRC fans can look forward to stunning TV images.”

Large crowds watched the rally, which was won by Orhan Avcio?lu in a Skoda Fabia R5. Avcio?lu will compete in the WRC 2 support category at Dayinsure Wales Rally GB, this week’s penultimate round of the season.

Turkey’s Minister of Youth and Sports, Osman A?kin Bak, attended Friday evening’s start ceremony in Marmaris and TOSFED president Serkan Yazici said it showed the importance attached to Turkey’s WRC return.

“We’ve worked incredibly hard to bring the WRC back to Turkey,” he said. “The Government has pledged its support and last weekend’s successful rally was the final piece of the jigsaw which confirmed our country’s return to the FIA World Rally Championship,” he said.






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