Akdeniz Local Rally Championship, which organized by Antalya Motorsports Club, is finished after tarmac rally this weekend. Teams run on Hillclimb race on Saturday and a tarmac rally made of 6 stages on Sunday. Championship leader Mustafa Soylemez with his Toksport made Evo 9, was successful to protect his leadership after Hillclimb on Saturday. He came second at Category 3 and with the points he gained, he was ready to boost on Sundays stages as a championship leader.
Unfortunately, his Evo could not carry on because of its bended gear linkage, after an impact in the middle of the stage. Despite he left the rally without points, Toksport Driver could manage to finish the Championship on second place.
Toksport’s newcomer for the 2009 season Omer Erdem was also at the podium of the Championship. He finished 3rd with his Evo 8 on Saturday’s hillclimb, while he caught by rain just after his start.
Erdem was on the leaderboard on Sunday’s Tarmac Rally until he struggle with a flat tyre on 3rd stage. He decided to push hard to get the rally lead as well as championship win. But on the very last stage, he slid and off the road. Erdem was retired after hitting his Evo’s back.
The rally was made of 6 stages. 8,90 km and 6,50 km tarmac stages were run twice. These 2 stages were combined and the new 16 km stage were run twice again. Teams had to drive 62,8 km special stages in total.
Toksport was very close to get the title with its two drivers. At the end of the weekend Istanbul based team had 2 drivers on the podium.
Second round of the Turkish Hillclimb Championship was organised at Kartepe on Sunday. Drivers climbed up on 4,2 Km. tarmac stage for 3 times. First and second runs were held under dry and warm weather conditions but just before third run mild rain made the surface very slippery and this forced drivers to a lot of mistakes. Toksport driver Tolga Cilingir who drives a Lancer Evo9 was in 2nd place after first and second runs with 1,8 seconds. The team had decided to put rain tyres on just before the 3rd run and tried to take advantage on Cilingir’s rivals.
Team Director Serkan Duru’s risky move had worked perfectly well and after the 3rd and the final run, Cilingir won the Category 3 with 11,7 seconds ahead.
Tolga said:” We had to risk everything. We gambled on rain but at the end of the day, we won the race. So, I am glad that our Director Serkan Duru had decided to put rain tyres on. If it would be dry at the last run, I was planning to force to the end but we didn’t even needed to force it. This result is a great motivation for me and my team.”
Next round on Turkish Hillclimb Championship will be held on 30-31 May 2009 at Izmir.
Middle East Rally Championship (MERC) 2009 season opener Qatar Rally ended up on last Saturday. Existing Champion Nasser Al Attiyah has won the rally on his home soil. He led the whole rally at his Evo’s wheel, starting from the first stage and was very easy to make it to the podium for Qatari driver. His rival Khalid Al Qassimi finsihed second while Saudi Arabian driver Yazeed Al-Rajhi finished third.
Kuwaiti driver Meshal Al Nejadi finished the rally 10th overall. He struggled with flat tyres twice and drop down on the list but he fought back and climbed up to his row. His new Evo 9 which is prepared by TOKSPORT worked well and he got used to drive faster stage by stage.
Crews had to challenge 262,50 km long 14 special stages for two days. NBK Qatar Rally has opened the MERC season and the next round of the series will be at Kuwait on 5-7 March 2009
Middle East Rally Championship (MERC) boosts the new season at Qatar. The first event of the series NBK Qatar Rally will be organised by Qatar Motoring and Motorsports Federation on 23rd and 24th of January.
One of the Regulars of MERC Meshal AL NEJADI has made a radical change for the upcoming season and dediced to change his group/class from A6 to N4. He will be driving a Mitsubishi Evo 9 which is prepared and run by Turkish garage Toksport. The Team has worked a lot to get ready for the first round of the Championship. Ahmad AL KHARAS will be co-driving Kuwaiti and try to get used to their new EVO 9.
NBK Qatar Rally will start on 23rd of January at 09:00. The start place as anounced before will be at Lusail. The crews will have to challenge 14 special stages on loose surface. Total length of the rally will be 617,40 km. and 262,50 Km. of it is 14 special stages. Finish ceremony of the event will be at 15:30 on 24th of January at Lusail again.
Rally fans are happy with off-season event Castrol Istanbul Local Rally Championship. Teams can get points from 3 rallies of this local championship and two of them has already organised.
When the National Championship is over and teams are waiting for the upcoming seasons first event, they are able to practise and as well as have fun.
Toksport”s Evo9 driver Mustafa Soylemez and his co-driver Bora Arabaci decided to join the local championship but they already missed the first event. However, they could find a good place at the ranking table after the second rally of the series. Mr Soylemez on his Evo9”s wheel, finished the second rally 5th overall and class N4. He found himself 8th overall at the championship ranking. Last round of the series will be organised on 25th of January.