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Clarkson University Student Wins Auto Racing Championships in Turkey
[A photograph is available for media use at: http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/avcioglu.jpg]
Orhan Avcioglu, a Clarkson senior, went home to race cars at his local track recently but it wasn't your typical weekend trek, nor was it your typical weekend of racing. That's because the Istanbul native traveled 4,900 miles back to his home city to compete in and win the 2006 Castrol Istanbul Rally Championship.
The Business and Technology Management major and his navigator Cihan Ozdamar got two podium finishes in the first two legs of the championship rally held the weekends of November 19 and 26 and on December 10 they became the Istanbul Junior Rally champions, as well as 2006 Istanbul Group N Class 2 Champions by posting the 3 best times out of 4 stages and a winning margin of 1 minute 35 seconds. Avcioglu won the race in the Group N Class 2 and also the title of best junior driver (drivers under the age of 24).
After the start ceremony, Avcioglu started the first stage with a best time in Group N Class 2 and 11th overall with a time of 07:04.7, more than 11 seconds ahead of the second N2 car. In the second stage, Avcioglu was again 11th overall but second in N2, 8 seconds slower than his championship rival. Crews then headed into the first service of the day with Avcioglu leading N2 class by over 14 seconds.
This win in the final round meant Avcioglu got third, second and first places in the three rounds of the championship, enough to secure him both Group N Class 2, and Junior Drivers Championships with 24.1 points.
"Orhan has shown an uptrend performance all throughout the championship. He compensated what he lacked in experience with his consistency and increasing performance," said Tuter.
After the race, Avcioglu added, "This is one of the best days in my life. I feel great to have won my first championship. I don't think I realize it yet though. I want to thank Delta Sports for giving me the best package of Fiat Palio and Lassa Tires capable of winning the championship. I would also like to thank Cihan for being a great navigator, my dear friends, and, most importantly, my family for their unbelievable support since I started racing go-karts when I was 13."
PHOTO CAPTION: Orhan Avcioglu, (R) a senior in Clarkson's School of Business, and his navigator, Cihan Ozdamar, celebrate after winning the 2006 Castrol Istanbul Rally Championship auto race in Istanbul, Turkey. Avcioglu won the race in the Group N Class 2 and also won the title of best junior driver (drivers under the age of 24).