Larnaca based Rally Cyprus took place on the winding roads of the nearby mountains of Troödos. Orhan Avcioglu and Burcin Korkmaz duo took their best result so far in FIA ERC and completed the rally in 5th position. The Cyprus Rally has been a mixed surface event combining both gravel and asphalt stages. On Friday, June 15, the ceremonial took place in the Finikoudes beachfront and the crews started this tough rally. Orhan Avcioglu said” I am very happy to finish this tough rally in 5th position and have valuable points for the championship” The next rally of the championship will be in Italy at Rally Roma.
The 4th round of Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Benelux took place at Circuit Zandvoort. Berkay Besler made the 5th time in both Qualifying sessions. In the first race Besler had a big battle with Xavier Maassen for the third position and he took the 4th place at the end of the first race with only 0,156 seconds. In the second race, he improved his position to 4th and completed the race.
Toksport WRT drivers Orhan Avcioglu and Burcin Korkmaz completed Rally Acropolis, one of the toughest rallies in ERC, at 8th overall. The rally started on first of June at Acropolis, Athens with the ceremonial start. The crews ran 12 stages in total of 867 kilometres. The crews had to drive against the hot weather and the harsh conditions. Orhan Avcioglu said ” We are happy to finish and gain experience in these hard conditions.”
The opening round of Porsche Sports Cup Germany took place at Hockenheimring. Toksport WRT drivers Berkay Besler, Umit Ulku and Bilal Saygili competed in a Porsche 991 GT3 Cup Gen II car while Caglayan Celik and Yildiray Demircioglu shared a Porsche 991 GT3 Cup Gen I car. The half of the race was ran under the rain and Bilal Saygili retired from the weekend due to an accident in the first race and damages in his car. Here are the results.
Super sports cup race 1
Berkay Besler DNF
Umit Ulku DNF
Bilal Saygili DNF
Caglayan Celik / overall 30 class 7
Super Sports Cup race 2
Berkay Besler overall 13 class 8
Umit Ulku overall 18 class 13
Bilal Saygili DNS
Caglayan Celik / Yildiray Demircioglu overall 19 class 2
Endurance race 1
Berkay Besler overall 5 class 4
Umit Ulku overall 7 class 5
Bilal Saygili DNS
Caglayan Celik / Yildiray Demircioglu overall 14 class 2
Endurance race 2
Berkay Besler overall 11 class 9
Umit Ulku overall 4 class 3
Bilal Saygili DNS
Caglayan Celik / Yildiray Demircioglu overall 28 class 6
Caglayan Celik made his TCR Italy debut at Le Castellet. 19 TCR cars competing in the race, Celik gained experience among the racers from Italy, Austria and Portugal and completed the first race in 14th place. The second race of the weekend was cancelled due to bad weather conditions and low visibility on the track.
Toksport WRT’s young driver Berkay Besler completed his first race event for the Benelux GT3 Cup Challenge at SPA-Francorchamps in Porsche 991 GT3 Cup Gen II car . It was a difficult weekend for him as he had finished 19th in the first race . In the start of the second race, right after the start, he had a contact with an opponent and had to retire due mechanical problems.
You may view the gallery of the race here…
Second round of FIA European Rally Championship , Rally Canarias enden prematurely for Chris Ingram due to health reasons on stage 3. Chris was feeling unwell whole week but attempted to start the rally. The team and Chris decided that it is too dangerous to continue under the bad health conditions and he retired. He hopes to recover until the third round of the series, Acropolis Rally.
Orhan Avicoglu has gained a lot of experience in Skoda Fabia R5 on tarmac stages of Canarias and he managed to finish 15th overall in the rally. He said ” Everything was good, big thanks for my team, they were great. We learned a lot. We didn’t take any big risk, we wanted mainly to make ot through” after the last stage.
Despite having mechanical problems during the Rally, the Lebanese driver Gilbert Bannout managed to finish third in ERC2 in a Subaru Impreza.
Chris Ingram crowned his FIA European Rally Championship four-wheel-drive debut with an ERC Junior U28 class victory. During the 3 days close competition, Ingram had 6 best times out of 15 stages in U28. The battle continued until the last stage Tronqueira 2 and Ingram won U28 by 1 minute 08 seconds gap.
Menderes Okur completed the race 4th in ERC2 and scored valuable points for the championship. Orhan Avcioglu had an unfortunate crash in the 11th stage and retired.
Toksport WRT to compete in Porsche Benelux GT3 Cup Challenge with Berkay Besler. 19-year-old Turkish driver will be driving Porsche 991 GT3 Cup Gen II and he aims to score maximum points for the title.
Besler started his racing career with karting in 2008, became the 2016 X30 European champion and the 2016 BMC champion. For the first time in 2017, he was behind the wheels of a race car and he ran in Clio Cup Italy and finished the season as the 8th.
Berkay Besler said ” It will be my first season behind the wheels of such powerful and real race car and I want to do my best for my team, my sponsors and my supporters. I am really happy to be in such professional and experienced team and I thank Toksport WRT for this opportunity”
More information for the Porsche series can be reached from : https://www.gt3cupchallengebenelux.com/en/
Toksport WRT will be following FIA ERC in 2018. Last year’s FIA ERC U27 Champion Chris Ingram and 2017 Balkan Rally Champion Orhan Avcioglu will be driving Skoda Fabia R5. Menderes Okur will be competing in FIA ERC2 in a Subaru Impreza.
Chris Ingram said ” I have been aiming to compete in the top tier of the European Rally Championship for a long time. Thanks to the €100,000 prize fund for winning the ERC Junior U27 title last year it has made that dream a possibility. There were many many discussions and options on the table so It has been an incredibly difficult task to choose the right one. Having met with Toksport in Germany in February I am very confident with my decision, they are a passionate and top team and their offer was too good to refuse. They want to win as much as me so it makes perfect sense! I can’t wait to drive the Fabia R5 for the first time and to start a new title fight in the Azores next week with the new team and car. The Azores is one of my favourite rallies in the world, however I’ll face a big challenge “
Orhan Avcioglu said ” We are embarking on a new campaign for 2018; together with Toksport WRT, we will be racing in the European Rally Championship with Skoda Fabia R5. The ERC is extremely competitive so we need to build on our pace from 2017 season. We are familiar with the car however all the rallies will be new to us. Therefore we need to find the balance between outright speed and consistancy. I would like to thank Toksport WRT for presenting this unique opportunity. “
The first race of the championship will be Rallye Azores on 22nd of March.