Back to where the ERC dream began for Avcioglu
Orhan Avcioglu will return to Barum Czech Rally Zlín next week more than a decade on from his first visit to the event and the start of his FIA European Rally Championship dream.
Avcioglu was in Zlín in 2007 as part of Fiat Turkey’s driver development programme in a supporting role to Volkan Isik and Kaan Özsenler, who were competing in the ERC at the time. It would prove the catalyst to Avcioglu’s inaugural European championship campaign in 2018 with the Toksport WRT operation.
“Zlín is where I started dreaming about racing in the ERC one day,” said Avcioglu,” an ERC point-scorer on the last three rounds in his ŠKODA Fabia R5. “I was so amazed about the level of competition, spirit of the fans, roar of the S2000 cars. They were on a different planet compared to my 100HP Fiat back then. Eleven years on and we can say it’s a dream come true.
“The Barum Rally is certainly one of the most difficult rallies in our calendar, or for that matter in the world. The character of the rally is unique with fast and narrow broken asphalt stages. We are used to dirty Tarmac from rallies in Turkey but in Zlín it comes together as a package with intense competition from local heroes.
“Our goal remains the same, we would like to finish in the top 10 and keep the gap with the leaders at around 1.5 seconds per kilometre. It will be very challenging for our first time of trying with 35 more competitors, but we are here to learn.”