Ten Fiestas gear-up for German foray
Round 4 of the 2008 Pirelli-supported Fiesta SportingTrophy International series heads to Germany next week as ten registered crews prepare for ADAC Rally Deutschland - a record number of registered entrants for the 2008 Championship.

Already this season the series has seen three different winners in as many events as competition begins to heat up with just three rounds remaining. Battling for a prize of tuition with former WRC champion Marcus Grönholm in a Ford Focus RS WRC, Rally Germany will be a crucial event in the championship race.

Burcu Çetinkaya (27) from Turkey and co-driver Çiçek Güney (26) currently lead the championship by five points over fellow team-mates Emre Yurdakul (25) from Turkey and his co-driver Can Erkal (24). Çetinkaya has been the most consistent of all FSTi drivers scoring on every event this year, which included a win on her home event in Turkey. Contesting the FST Belgium this year – a predominantly Tarmac championship – will put her in good stead ahead of the first Tarmac FSTi round in Germany.

After a DNF on Round 1, Yurdakul struck back with a second in Turkey and, more recently, a rally win on the high-speed stages of Finland. Fellow countryman and Castrol Ford Team Türkiye members Koray Muratoğlu (30) and co-driver Levent Özokutucu (22) have come right back into contention after a solid second place in Finland, advancing them to third in the championship.

Lithuanians Vytautas Baranauskas (24) and co-driver Gediminas Celiešius (36) are also in a position to take the championship despite not starting the Finnish event. Baranauskas is the only FSTi competitor in the field to have contested Rally Germany before. Round 2 entrant Joachim Müller-Wende from Germany and his new co-driver Umberto Calamida rejoin the FSTi race for their home event and will be hoping to utilise their local knowledge to good effect next week.

Denis Grodetskiy (33) from Russia and co-driver Safoniy Lotko are in for a whole new experience as they enter their fourth FSTi round this year. Grodetskiy, despite his wealth of rally knowledge, has never driven on Tarmac before.

Four new crews will be joining the regular FSTi contingent in Germany, three of whom reside in Belgium, which has a strong Tarmac championship. The most experienced of the group and currently second in the Belgian FST series is Anthony Martin (23) and co-driver Eric Borguet (23). Martin was also selected to represent Belgium in the 2007 Fiesta SportingTrophy International Shootout at M-Sport last December, where he was selected as one of the five finalists to be judged for overall victory.

Joining him from Belgium is Tim Vanparijs (36) and co-driver Kurt Heyndrickx (35). Currently, Vanparijs sits seventh in the Belgium Rally Championship, a hotly contested series with names such as former WRC star Freddy Loix in the mix of competition. The Belgiannormally rallies in a Porsche GT3 so the move to the Ford Fiesta ST in Germany will be a different one for him.

The third crew from Belgium is Philippe Maertens and co-driver Tony Lefebvre (23) who will both contest their first ever WRC event in Germany. All three Belgian crews will be run by the Team Floral outfit who specialise in rally preparation and development of Fords and particularly Fiestas in the Belgian FST series.

The tenth registered competitor for Rally Germany Is the experienced Richard Moore, who will be co-driven by MSA British Rally Academy member Seb Marshall (20). Moore left his co-driver option open at the start of the year leaving M-Sport Managing Director Malcolm Wilson with the decision to pick an up-and-coming British rally talent worthy of gaining the experience and filling the seat.

Burcu Çetinkaya (27) from Turkey said:
“Germany is going to be a big test for me as there are a few Belgian guys coming who are going to be very fast. I used to be quite weak on Tarmac, so last year I contested the Belgian FST, along with FST Turkey, and this year again I have done two of the three rounds in the Belgian championship, so hopefully this will put me in good shape for Germany with the experience I have gained on Tarmac. Our aim for this rally is to try and keep the gap in the championship lead and increase our speed from the previous event. But there are ten crews in Germany so there are going to be some good battles during the rally.”

2008 standings after Rally of Turkey






Back To News
Ypres 2008 Finland 2008 Finland 2008 Finland 2008