Turkey has been 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 Avcioğlu in a Skoda Fabia R5. Avcioğlu 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 Aşkin 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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