Erkut Kizilirmak has announced that he will sit out the 2009 HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship season – but only after realising a long-held dream in the final rounds of the 2008 campaign at Brands Hatch this weekend.
The Arkas Racing with Sunshine.co.uk driver will revert to the Vauxhall Astra Coupe that took Yvan Muller to the 2004 title for the final three races of the season, with the Turkish driver having first wanted to race in the BTCC after watching Muller drive the car en-route to the crown.
Kizilirmak has driven the Coupe back in his homeland in the Turkish Touring Car Championship, and it will now return to British soil for the season finale.
"I have taken the decision to take a year away from the BTCC at the end of the current season due to my business commitments and the demands on my time back in Turkey," he said. "Therefore, this weekend is the perfect opportunity to race the Coupe at Brands Hatch, something I have wanted to do since I bought the car in 2005.
"It's something a bit different to close the first chapter in my motor racing career and it will also give the BTCC fans a rare chance to see the car, which Yvan raced brilliantly in 2004, back on track at Brands Hatch. The race between Yvan and Jason is very famous and it's responsible for getting me hooked on the BTCC!
"With the car being in Turkey we've never really had the opportunity to run it in the UK before so I'm really looking forward to this – it realises a long-held dream of mine and will be a fantastic end to the season for me."
Kizilirmak will retun to the Turkish Touring Car Championship next season with a view on returning to the BTCC in 2010. Team-mate Martyn Bell will continue with his Astra Sport Hatch for the final three races of the year.