Istanbul promoter targets Turkish talent to star in FIA ETCR

The promoter of Istanbul’s all-new street race has targeted having a Turkish driver in the series in the near future to compete in the country’s largest city.

The Street Circuit of Beyoglu, Istanbul, was this month named as the venue for Race TR, the second round of the FIA ETCR – eTouring Car World Cup – the new name for PURE ETCR – on May 20-22.

And Mert Güçlüer, CEO of event promoter EMSO Sportif, wants to see a recent run of international success for Turkish drivers carried over into the world’s only all-electric touring car series.

“The appetite for motorsport in Turkey is huge, and growing all the time. About 20 years ago we started to see Turkish drivers and riders show that they could be competitive in international competitions,” Güçlüer said.

“Since then we’ve had Formula 1, WRC and MotoGP here in the country, which has exposed more people to how fantastic motorsport is, and has really grown the enthusiasm for competition and given our top competitors the chance to test themselves internationally.”

Turkish representation internationally across motorsport is currently at an all-time high with several competitors achieving huge levels of success in circuit racing.

2020 Le Mans 24 Hours class winner Salih Yoluç, Ayhancan Güven – one of the Porsche Supercup’s biggest stars following titles in France and Benelux – and Euroformula Open race winner Cem Bölükbaşi are just three examples of drivers making a big impression.

On two wheels Can Öncü became Turkey’s first motorcycle grand prix winner in 2018 while Toprak Razgatioğlu secured the World Superbike title last year to add to the four World Supersport crowns of Kenan Sofuoğlu claimed since 2007.

“It would be a dream to see a Turkish driver in FIA ETCR competing on the streets of Istanbul and even getting on the podium,” he added.

“This could have the double effect of not only inspiring the next generation of stars to follow in their wheeltracks, but also to continue to show how cool, powerful and fun electric mobility can be.”

Race TR will be the second round of FIA ETCR – the new name for PURE ETCR in 2022. A seven-event calendar was announced in December featuring a mix of permanent and temporary circuits on a six-event European schedule followed by a climax in South Korea.