The Spanish-Kurdish race driver Isaac Tutumlu finished first at the 2023 GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup Pro-Am Cup with the Rinaldi-run Ferrari 296 GT3 on October 2 in Barcelona, Spain, alongside Samantha Tan and Lorcan Hanafin, as part of the Kurdistan Racing Team.
“What an amazing home round! It was a perfect race, dominating our Pro-Am Class Cup with a lights-to-flag win,” Tutumlu said in a press release.
“We always kept our strong pace as we perfectly managed our tire wear and degradation. As a result of warm temperatures, other teams cooked their tires, but we stayed in shape during the three-hour race.”
“It is an incredible feeling to secure the first win of the Kurdistan Racing Team in such a competitive world-class series in front of my family and friends,” explained Tutumlu.
In 2019, his team also won the DMV GTC Championship in Hockenheim, Germany.
“This marks the first occasion that the Kurdistan Racing Team has emerged victorious in a World Championship,” he added.
“I also want to thank the three companies sponsoring the Kurdistan Racing Team this season, which are GEG Reklam, Korek Telekom, and Northlight Holding.”
Tutumlu added that the Kurdistan Racing Team has no more races planned for this year, after wrapping up the 2023 GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup season at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
“We are now working on next year’s program, which needs to be clarified in the upcoming weeks or months. Hopefully, we will get the support needed to compete again worldwide and win once again for our country.”
Tutumlu was raised by his Catalan mother and Kurdish father from Turkey, Bayram Tutumlu, in Barcelona, Spain. His father was an influential football agent.
Despite his parent’s objections, Tutum pursued his passion for racing, breaking into the international circuit and winning numerous international titles.
Originally, the team was known as the Barzani Racing Team due to concerns surrounding the use of the name “Kurdistan,” which were rooted in potential objections from countries like Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and Syria that oppose Kurdish statehood.
Nonetheless, in 2019, the name Kurdistan Racing Team was officially adopted, propelling the name Kurdistan onto the international GT racing stage.
“We put the Kurdistan flag on our cars and named the team after Barzani until 2019, when we finally received approval to rename the team as Kurdistan Racing Team,” Tutumlu told Kurdistan Chronicle.