Why eight was still great for Avcioglu on ERC season finale
Orhan Avcioglu completed his first season in the FIA European Rally Championship with eighth place on Rally Liepāja recently. And while it wasn’t the top-five finish he’d hoped for prior to the start, the result still represented more progress for Turkey’s finest.
Avcioglu has focused on learning in 2018 as tried out all eight ERC rallies for the first time in his Toksport WRT ŠKODA Fabia R5, with fifth place in Cyprus the season highlight.
On his first appearance on the high-speed gravel stages in Latvia from 12-14 October, Avcioglu met his target of keeping within 1.5 seconds per kilometre of the pacesetting drivers.
“Almost all rally we were within 1.5s per kilometre, which was our goal for the season and it’s been a big progress because we started with 2.5s and we’ve come down to this,” said the 2017 FIA Balkan Trophy winner. “I just want to thank my co-driver and team and families. We appreciate the effort from everybody.”
Avcioglu and co-driver Burçin Korkmaz overcame a front-left puncture on Rally Liepāja’s final stage, losing more than two minutes in the process. “All of a sudden it ruptured so we were happy to keep the position and I was happy with eighth,” he said. “I would really have liked to be fifth or sixth but we learned a lot on this rally and how to go fast in the fast sections.”