Yoluc bags brace of victories at Snetterton
It was to be a cloudy and wet start to the MSVR weekend at Snetterton. As the ‘All Comers’ qualifying session began, Salih Yoluc once again took the wheel of Optimum Motorsport’s Ginetta G55 amongst a wide variety of machinery.
Qualifying would prove tough with greasy conditions and a busy track, with many slower cars. Yoluc, with his matured and more experienced approach, planned a sensible option and circulated the G55 well within his and the car’s comfort zone to ensure a reasonable spot on the grid.
However, testament to how his abilities as a GT driver have improved in such a short space of time, Yoluc’s 2:04.036 would still be good enough to gain him a front row start for the race, with Anthony Bennett’s #74 Caterham R300 edging him out of pole position.
QUALIFYING - SATURDAY: YOLUC - P2
As the bumper 34-car field lined up for the start of Race 1, conditions had improved and the circuit was much drier. Yoluc, having never raced from a standing start before, suffered from wheel spin off the start line with the lighter, more nimble Caterham’s able to make their way past and putting Yoluc down in P5.
However, Yoluc would soon find his rhythm within the race and begin picking the Caterham’s off one by one. On lap 2, Yoluc made his way past Richard Green’s #32 Caterham and Brad Fincham’s #188 Caterham R401 to take third.With a half-second deficit to Pascal Green’s #36 Caterham in second, Yoluc would begin putting in personal best lap times to catch, and ultimately pass Green on lap 4. Yoluc emerged in second place, but with a huge 7.143 seconds gap to the lead car of Bennett and only a handful of laps remaining in the sprint race.
Luck would favour the bold however, when with three laps remaining, race leader Bennett spun and Yoluc sneaked through to take the race lead. The Turkish ace now looked comfortable with a 3 second lead over David Krayem in the #88 Ginetta G50 and as the chequered flag fell on Lap 10, Yoluc took a hard-fought win and extended the race-winning margin to an impressive 6.654 seconds.
RACE 1: YOLUC - P1
With the finishing positions of Race 1 dictating the grid for Race 2, Yoluc took a well-earned pole position. Learning from his mistakes in Race 1, Yoluc was able to make a clean get away from the start line and Krayem’s Ginetta would help cull the advancements of the agile Caterhams behind.
As Yoluc exited Riches in the lead that was the last his rivals would see of him and the Optimum Motorsports Ginetta. Saturday’s final race concluded with Yoluc taking the win, and showing his class with a faultless lights-to-flag victory, untroubled by the huge field behind.
RACE 2: YOLUC - P1
Sunday brought heavy rain once more to the Norfolk circuit and qualifying proved to be a treacherous and challenging affair. Optimum racer, Yoluc, found traffic on the majority of his laps, with the field of cars varying greatly in terms of lap time. Yoluc, deciding the risk greatly outweighed the reward, brought his G55 home in a sensible P4 with a time of 2:23.222.
QUALIFYING - SUNDAY: YOLUC - P4
The rain stopped ahead of Race 3, but track conditions had not greatly improved, leaving Steve Perez’s #17 Ginetta G55 sat on pole-position of a very greasy Snetterton 300 circuit. As the race got underway, Scriven’s #8 Ginetta G50 made a strong start, diving down the inside of Yoluc through Riches and making his way into P2 with Yoluc in hot pursuit, battling his way through to P3.
As the opening exchanges shook out, it was Scrivens who would push on into the lead of the race with a 1.117 second advantage over Perez. Yoluc, sat in third, would begin to real in Perez’s similar machine and on lap 7, Yoluc would get his reward with a blinding move through Nelson to move him into second.
Motivated and determined, Yoluc then set a blistering 2:18.237 lap time, declaring himself as the fastest man in the race. Unfortunately, Yoluc would not have enough time over the short sprint race to catch Scrivens, instead, taking the middle spot in an all Ginetta podium.
RACE 3: YOLUC - P2
“Now I have finally managed to obtain my licence upgrade, I can look ahead to 2015. We will be competing with Optimum again as we take on the challenge of the Dubai 24HR in January. I think it will be a great event to enjoy and it will be a great experience for me before the new season starts.“I feel my development as a driver has gone much better than expected, we've literally jumped through the steps rather than walking! The guys at Optimum Motorsport have helped me out so much this year, they are great guys and a great team and I'm extremely grateful to them. Euan (Hankey) has been a massive contributor to that development too and I hope we'll be competing together for many years to come.”
Shaun Goff – Team Principal
“Since meeting Salih, his ultimate goal has always been to race in a top level GT Championship. When he joined us, he was a complete novice and required us to help him gain experience and to educate him in the requirements of GT racing. I’m delighted to say he has excelled this year and has become a much more complete driver than when he joined us. This weekend was the icing on the cake, gaining the requirements for his licence upgrade with a stylish trio of podiums. It really does show how his maturity and consistency as a driver has improved.”