It would be Team Turkey who took home the inaugural FIA GT Nations Cup honours last weekend, after surviving a first corner pile-up and later falling behind, the RAM Racing owned Mercedes AMG GT3 scythed past Team UK in the closing stages to win at the Bahrain International Circuit.
The race, held over 27 laps had seen the Team Belgium Audi R8 LMS go in as favourites, having already secured pole and won the qualifying race. A first corner incident would put pay to this though as five teams retired. Team France continued until the nineteenth lap, but with many of the drivers out of action, it was Salih Yoluc, who inherited the lead after a safety car.
He fell back before the pitstops, but a quick turn around, followed by an inspired run from co-driver Ayhancan Guven saw the Bronze rated Turk take a memorable victory ahead of Team UK’s AF Corse run Ferrari.
Yoluc, who finished runner-up in the European Le Mans Series GT class last year, said: “It is a great feeling to win the FIA GT Nations Cup for Team Turkey. It was pure racing in the fight with Team UK after the restart but then we managed to settle into a better pace after that.
“We had some moments and some doubts during the weekend, but we believed we had the speed and we did it! Ayhancan drove so well and it is down to him for passing the two cars towards the end that we won the race.”
Team UK and Team Denmark completed the podium, under five seconds behind the leader.
Guven, Team Turkey’s second driver also commented, saying: “I knew I had to get past the Team Russia car quite quickly, but even then I think we were around eight seconds behind the Team UK car. As I got closer I could see he was struggling and we managed to make the move.
“I have really enjoyed the weekend and we’re delighted to have won the FIA GT Nations Cup.”