1972 First International Rally of Turkey. Start and Finish in Istanbul.
1999 The idea of creating an all-new event as a WRC candidate was conceived.
2000 The Anatolian Rally is born in May. Based in Izmir, the third largest City in Turkey, the two-day event used closed tarmac roads as special stages. After being observed by the FIA the rally becomes an official reserve event for the World Rally Championship.
2001 Without any experience of hosting any rallies, Antalya is chosen as the start and finish venue. The rally was run in drier, warmer September and - for the first time in its 30-year history - used gravel roads for its competitive sections. A WRC format is adopted; three days of competition with service areas in Antalya and Kemer.
2002 The first foreign entries take part; Sebastien Loeb in a Citroen Saxo and Juuso Pykalysto in a Peugeot 206 WRC. The winner's average speed was 68kph.
2003 First ever WRC Event
Super-human efforts in the Mountains...
Work on preparing the special stages in the mountains above Antalya began in October 2002.
Over 40 construction vehicles and 80 civil engineers, including 10 TOMSFED officials were dedicated to this task. Heavy, continuous rain has required some sections of road to be repaired up to six times! A typical working day in the last month has been 18 hours! Every centimetre of the 250 kilometres of special stages has received attention. A re-route of stages 5 and 17 was made as recently as Sunday 23rd and Road Book 1 was reprinted on Monday, 24th February 2003. ...and in Kemer.
The once gravel Service park in Kemer has been completely re-surfaced.
The 50,000 square meter area was timetabled to be finished on Tuesday 25th February 2003. Work on laying the 30,000 square meters of Tarmac and 20, 000 square meters of cobbles began at the end of January and during the last 10 days 150 people and 20 construction vehicles worked 24 hours each day to complete the project which had been delayed by heavy and persistent rain. New facilities include toilets, telecommunications, water and electricity suppliers to the Teams who will be based there from Shakedown on Wednesday until the finish on Sunday.
For the past 10 years a "Super Special" has been a feature of this and other major rallies in Turkey. Adopting a unique design this year's 1.55 kms stage should be faster than last year and will be floodlit. Preparation of the stage - built on reclaimed land - began six weeks ago and in the last 15 days the workforce has increased from 50 to 100 people. Over 10,000 spectators are expected. There is seating for 6000 in Grandstands. Other features include facilities for VIP Guests, hospitality for competitors and catering for spectators.
2003 First Rally of Turkey. This new event created much controversy due to the extreme weather conditions and preparation period pressed for time. However, against all odds, the rally proved to be a great challenge and full of surprises. Sebastien Loeb got lost, out of fuel and retired on the first day. One of the youngest drivers on the World Championship trail, Francois Duval saw the podium. El Matador, Carlos Sainz was the winner of the rally, the first win of the Citroen on a gravel rally, equalling Colin McRae with 25 wins!
Citroen's Sebastian Loeb took an emphatic fourth victory of the season on the Rally of Turkey, holding off Peugeot Marcus Gronholm and Subaru's Petter Solberg to further extend his overall lead in the drivers' championship standings.
The Frenchman was not always the fastest driver on the rough and rocky stages, but he had done enough on Friday's opening leg to ensure that his lead was only briefly challenged midway through Saturday. By the start of Sunday's third and final leg, his 26-second lead enabled him to pace himself for the rest of the day and take a deserved second win on gravel.
This one was won by Loeb on pace alone - a defiant gesture from Loeb to the critics who have suggested he doesn't have the skill of his rivals to win on loose surfaces.
Gronholm was the only other driver to top the overall rally classification (albeit briefly) on the Saturday, but lost a crucial 15s and the rally lead with a bizarre incident in which on-stage debris pierced the underfloor of the car and hit co-driver Timo Rautienen. When Loeb was returned the 10s lost with an incorrectly-applied jump-start penalty at the end of the leg, Gronholm's deficit to the rally leapt back up to 26s - a hard task to close over the 77.9km of the four remaining stages, and one that proved too much even for the double world champion.
In the closing stages of the rally a gearbox problem and dramatic tyre failure on the final stage threatened to end his rally within sight of the podium, but he was able to struggle on and keep another well-deserved strong finish.
Solberg was one of the true pacesetters of the rally, with six fastest stage times to Loeb's five, but had crucially lost a minute on the opening leg with engine damage from a watersplash and was always left chasing the leaders. Second place was briefly on the cards, but in the end the reigning world champion had to settle for third. In truth, he could probably have won the event if not for his leg one problems
The watersplashes on the opening day- filled with pre-event rain - proved the downfall of many a driver, with Ford's Markko Martin losing over two minutes to the leaders on the opening leg with damage. Worse was to come, with a freak crankshaft sensor failure, but he scrambled through the remaining two days of the rally to score a manufacturer's point for his team. Drivers' points proved out of his reach, though, and, as a result, he's lost ground to Loeb and Solberg in the drivers' championship and is now having to fend off Gronholm for third.
Citroen's Carlos Sainz, Ford's Francois Duval, Subaru's Mikko Hirvonen and Ford Focus privateers Janne Tuohino and Antony Warmbold rounded out the remaining points finishers
CITROEN MADE A HAT-TRICK IN RALLY OF TURKEY
Organized by Turkish Automobile Sports Federation, in 7th round of the World Rally Championship ‘Third Edition of Rally of Turkey’, Citroen Total are the winners for the third time in a row. Sebastian Loeb-Daniel Elena crew won the event once again, after their victory in 2004.
The rally which was held for the first time in 2003 was won by Carlos Sainz and the Matador who retired last year, came back for this event to take the fourth place and show that he has not lost any of his pace.
Rally of Turkey began with a ceromonial start in Antalya Cumhuriyet Square on Thursday and finished at the service park in Kemer on Sunday, 12.55. The second place on podium goes to Subaru World Rally Team. Petter Solberg and Philip Mills driving Subaru Impreza WRC were second, 59.6 second behind Loeb in overall classification.
Peugeot’s Marcus Gronholm and Timo Rautiainen clocked 4:23:03.3 and finished the Rally of Turkey on the last step of the podium.
PWRC(Production World Rally Championship) had a very surprising and exciting end. Ligato, who was leading the category for three days, lost the lead right at the end of the very last stage to Japan’s Toshihiro Arai, Subaru Impreza WRX driver who also won the penultimate stage was followed by Ligato and Al-Attiya.
In the Turkish championship, Mehmet Besler - Afsin Baydar dominated the event all 3 days and got the maximum points haul. The pair driving Ford Focus WRC was 18th in the overall. In the A8 class, Hyundai Assan driver Ali Deveci was 21st in overall classification and 2nd in the national championship. The championship leader Nejat Avci came home in third position and grabbed some important points.
The 3rd edition of the Rally Turkey had 76 starters and 18 special stages covering 1228 kms. 53 cars were able to finish the rally.
The event was sponspored by Efes Pilsen, Opet, Milliyet, Lassa, Skoda, Power FM, NTV and Kent and was hosted by Grand Haber Hotel in Kemer
Ford’s Remarkable Victory
In 2006 edition of Rally of Turkey, Ford drivers Marcus Gronholm and Mikko Hirvonen claimed a historic 1-2 result for Ford and that enabled British team to gain the lead in the Manufacturers' World Championship. Pre-event storm which flattened the Service Park, made everyone’s life very difficult, including teams and the Organisers.
Winner of last two years Sebastien Loeb was injured when he fell off his mountain bike, Kronos team invited Colin McRae, former Citroen team driver, to take his place in No.1 Car. However, it all went wrong for Citroen. While Ford had developed a new highly accurate weather forecasting system, tyre errors for Kronos followed one after the other, and finally McRae parked up on the final stage with an electrical failure.
On the first day, three special stages had to be cancelled due to extreme weather conditions and medical helicopter was unable to fly. Marcus Gronholm led from start to finish, but for a long time Petter Solberg made a brave effort in Subaru WRT, but five stages from the end Solberg went off the road and his long enjoyed second place was taken away. Solberg statistically was the fastest driver on the course, and gained more fastest stage times than anybody else (seven out of 16) But that was little consolation when the Impreza hit a rock lying hidden beneath mud in the middle of the road and bounced off into the ditch beside the track. Mikko Hirvonen took no risks having gained second place when Petter Solberg retired. Henning Solberg was a surprise, gaining his first ever podium World rally finish.
2006 Rally of Turkey was the first World championship rally in which a Super 2000 car was
entered. In fact there were two such Fiats, for the 2006 European champion Giandomenico Basso and for local driver Volkan Isik. Group N winner was the Ukraine driver Yury Shapovalov in a Mitsubishi Evo VIII which ran on Turkish Lassa tyres, which are licence made Bridgestones. Fastest Group N driver had been Hakan Dinc (Subaru) which had steering failure on day two but restarted on the final day and finished fourth in the Group.
Best Turkish crew of the event was Ercan Kazaz-Serdar Kurbanzade duo of Subaru Turkey, who finished the rally as 14th overall.