Turkey’s Intercity Instanbul Park is back on the F1 schedule, this weekend’s Grand Prix the first at the venue since 2011. In 2014 and 2015 Istanbul Park featured in the FIA World Rallycross Championship, in both years forming the 11th round of the championship.
While the rallycross track does not come close to having a corner with the legendary status of the F1 track’s T8 “Diabolica”, it is a circuit that delivered good racing and closely contested events.
Like F1, what rallycross in Turkey lacked was fans, and that ultimately brought about the end of the event after two visits.
The track was good and enjoyed by drivers while the typically high class facilities found at F1 venues also made it a popular stop with teams.
The track was also used for the annual RX2 test day at the end of 2014 when the opportunity for drivers to try and RX2 racecar was supplemented by a visit to the nearby factory of Avitas Motorsport where the chassis and body for the cars are built.
Constructed with a startline tucked just inside the paddock area in the shadow of the iconic pit lane buildings, the rallycross track uses turns 12, 13, and 14 of the F1 track before turning left on to a bespoke infield unsealed section that falls and rises and incorporates seven corners to complete the 1311m metre, 13-turn circuit.
In 2014 Andreas Bakkerud passed Timmy Hansen in the final to take the win. Toomas Heikkinen had been fastest in Q1, qualified second and won semi two before placing third at the end of the weekend. Hansen was TQ after setting fastest times in Q2, 3, and 4 and then won semi-final one. The final was close and resulted in Bakkerud’s win. Anton Marklund placed fourth behind teammate Heikkinen while the Solberg brothers both made it to the final, this time Henning finishing fifth ahead of Petter.
A year later Hansen went all the way and secured the win. This time it was Mattias Ekstrom who was TQ, but then beaten by Bakkerud in the semi-final. Hansen battled his way through the outrageous semi two to earn his front row starting slot in the final and got his revenge on Bakkerud. Johan Kristoffersson placed third ahead of Ekstrom, Davy Jeanney and Marklund.« Previous Post Next Post »