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Yurdakul wins Deutschland as Çetinkaya controls championship

18.08.2008: Yurdakul wins Deutschland as Çetinkaya controls championship

PHOTOS on automobilsport.com under wrc-rallyes--87.html

Emre Yurdakul (25) from Turkey and his co-driver Can Erkal (24) have picked up their second win in this year's Pirelli-supported Fiesta SportingTrophy International series by winning Round 4, ADAC Rallye Deutschland. Another fine display from the Turkish pair, which sees them claim back-to-back victories in Finland and Germany, has seen them close the gap on the championship leader to one point after a faultless event this weekend.

A measured drive has seen Burcu Çetinkaya (27) from Turkey and co-driver Çiçek Güney (26) finish the event third and maintain their lead in the FSTi series; one which they have held since Round 2. This sees her third podium result for the year from four events.

Joachim Müller-Wende from Germany and his co-driver Umberto Calamida have performed brilliantly on their home event to finish a very impressive second overall. The pair hit back from an early moment when they had a small 'off' on SS1 and lost 20 seconds - to set some impressive stage times which included a fastest on the 18 kilometre Moselwein test this morning; Müller-Wende's first ever FSTi stage win.

Richard Moore from Scotland and UK MSA British Rally Academy co-driver Seb Marshall (20) have had a successful event debut together finishing all 17 competitive stages without any major issues in fourth position. This result puts Moore a creditable seventh in the FSTi championship and will stand him in good stead for his next FSTi event in Spain.

The fifth and final FSTi finisher was regular FST Belgium driver Philippe Maertens and co-driver Tony Lefebvre (23) who drove a measured rally on their debut in the WRC with Floral Racing. Maertens now lies equal eighth in the championship after his maiden event.

After taking the lead of an FSTi round for the first time in his career on SS16, Tim Vanparijs from Belgium and co-driver Kurt Heyndrickx (35) were looking strong until a broken wheel on Stage 17 caused them to retire from the event.

Also challenging for the lead was Anthony Martin (23) from Belgium and co-driver Eric Borguet (23), who picked up their first ever FSTi stage win on SS7 followed by another two on SS11 and SS14. The pair were looking in fine form until a collision with a rock 6 kilometres into stage 15 ripped off a wheel and retired them from the event.

The event was marred, however, by the injuries to Castrol Ford Team Türkiye members Koray Muratoglu (30) and co-driver Levent Özokutucu (22). A fifth gear accident on the opening section of SS7 resulted in Özokutucu being airlifted to hospital with a compressed vertebrae in his lower back while Muratoglu was driven to hospital for precautionary checks but later released with no injuries.

Organisers and event medical staff did a fantastic job working efficiently to help the Turkish co-driver get a speedy airlift to hospital, from where he was released on Sunday. Özokutucu will travel back to Turkey to recover from his lower back injury.

Lithuanians Vytautas Baranauskas (24) and co-driver Gediminas Celiesius (36) led the event, only dropping into second on SS16 and SS17, to finish over four minutes ahead of Yurdakul. They were later excluded by the Stewards for breach of the FIA regulations. When questioned, the crew stated that they had had a puncture in a stage and in the process of the wheel change, their jack became unserviceable.

On the road section after the stage, the car had another puncture and the crew borrowed another jack from a marshal. It was thus judged that the crew had received external assistance, which contravened Articles 12.1.2 and 12.2.1 of the FIA WRC General Prescriptions.

The next event on the Fiesta SportingTrophy International series calendar is Rallye de España in October. After two gravel rallies and an exciting Tarmac event here in Germany, the series is set to treat crews in its fifth of six rounds as they take on the technical asphalt stages in Spain.

Emre Yurdakul (25) from Turkey said:

"This was a good rally for me, it went very well especially considering there was no rain for the event. It has been a long time since I've competed on Tarmac, so I took it stage by stage until the end and I'm happy we won FSTi. Obviously we've been thinking about our friend Levent [Özokutucu] who was injured on Friday, but we hear he is ok. It's never nice to see this sort of thing happen. But for our rally, I liked the stages - they were good fun for me - fast and narrow - but I like that."

2008 standings after ADAC Rallye Deutschland

1 Burcu CETINKAYA 29

2 Emre YURDAKUL 28

3 Koray MURGATOGLU 14

4 Vytautas BARANAUSKAS 10

5 Joachim MÜLLER-WENDE 8

6 Teemu HORKAMA 6

7 Richard MOORE 5

8= Phillippe MAERTENS 4

8= Atte ALANEN 4

- Denis GRODETSKIY 0

- Jarkko NIKARA 0

- Anthony MARTIN 0

- Tim VANPARIJS 0

 

- Kate Rhodes-

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18.08.2008 / MaP

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