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Paddock postcard from Istanbul 21 Aug 2005

Jason Tahinicioglu (TUR) with the Jordan he will drive demonstration laps later.
Formula One World Championship, Rd14, Turkish Grand Prix, Race Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, 21 August 2005 Bo Derek, Actress.
Formula One World Championship, Rd14, Turkish Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, 20 August 2005 Eddie Irvine (GBR) Former F1 driver.
Formula One World Championship, Rd14, Turkish Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, 20 August 2005 (L to R): Mumtaz Tahincioglu (TUR) President Turkish Autosport Federation, Mr. Yalcintas (TUR) President of Istanbul Chamber of Commerce with Bernie Ecclestone (GBR) F1 Supremo.
Formula One World Championship, Rd14, Turkish Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, 20 August 2005 Kenan Dogulu, Turkish Pop Star with a Red Bull Formula Unas Girl.
Formula One World Championship, Rd14, Turkish Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, 20 August 2005

Who's who in the Turkish paddock this weekend...

Those who were not hugely impressed with the Istanbul Park circuit, or who thought that Hermann Tilke’s latest masterpiece wasn’t his best yet, were in the minority in Istanbul. Bernie Ecclestone yesterday described the new venue as €;a circuit at last that sorts the men from the boys,” and Jacques Villeneuve reckons that Turn 8 is now €;the toughest corner in F1”. Not a bad start!

Saturday’s primary GP2 encounter saw plenty of overtaking action and eventual victor for ART’s Alexandre Premat by inches from hard charger Giorgio Pantano. Borja Garcia and Nelson Piquet followed them home but it was a bad day for series leader Heikki Kovalainen who was only 10th, and challenger Nico Rosberg who led but retired. Hiroki Yoshimoto is on pole for the second race’s reversed grid, with Briton Adam Carroll alongside.

The Tahincioglu name is big in Turkey. Mumtaz ‘Mike’ Tahincioglu is the head of TOMSFED, Turkey’s national motorsport association and the nation’s leading sugar confectionery manufacturer, and he watched with understandable parental pride as son Jason Tahincioglu swapped his regular Formula Renault seat for one in a Jordan as he did his demonstration run on Sunday morning. Mike’s wife Ann started from pole and finished second to Melis Ceker after a close-fought VW Polo Ladies Cup race, while daughter Melissa later raced in the SEAT Cup.

Befitting the status of a new race, the celebrity guest list included Bond girl Ursula Andress and ‘10’ actress Bo Derek (who also attended the Australian Grand Prix) and football’s Christophe Daum.

Former driver Eddie Irvine was also spotted talking with Minardi proprietor Paul Stoddart.

Overall the event has been a huge success so far, from the track design to the organisation of the race and the media side run by national press officer Pelin Kaleci and Briton John Horton’s slick team.