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Jason Tahinci
Jason Tahinci

Press Release - 17 August 2005

Student on work placement to become first Turkish Formula One racing car driver

A University of Bath student on a work placement with the Renault F1 team will become the first Turkish Formula One racing car driver at the inaugural Turkish Grand Prix at Istanbul Park this weekend (21 August 2005).

Jason Tahinci, an automotive engineering student in the University’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, has been invited by the Jordan Grand Prix team to perform demonstration laps in the Jordan-Toyota EJ15 in front of his home crowd.

Jason will also make a guest appearance in the Turkish Copa SEAT Leon cup race at the circuit.

“Through sheer determination Jason managed to get a work placement at Renault F1 and this has opened doors to a promising career in Formula One racing,” said Dr Jos Darling, Director of Studies in Automotive Engineering at the University of Bath.

“Jason is in the enviable position of being both a highly talented racing driver and engineer, using his degree to help explain all aspects of race car dynamics.”

“Representing your country on home territory at a brand new race track is a once in a lifetime opportunity that will undoubtedly bring Jason national notoriety in Turkey.”

Jason said: “To be running in front of my home crowd will be an amazing scenario. After all, having a Turkish driver in a Formula One car on his home track is what the Turkish fans dream of seeing. It will be a great buzz."

Whilst working with the Renault F1 team, Jason’s duties have included developing pit lane equipment for the 2005 car, using the team’s wind tunnel to gather data on the chassis and travelling to tests around the world.

“Jason is a young, bright and quick driver who has shown his talent in the Formula Renault UK Championship,” said Colin Kolles, Managing Director of Jordan Grand Prix.

“Being the first Turkish driver to ever drive a Formula One car, especially in front of his home crowd on a brand new circuit, will be an experience he will never forget.”

The job has given Jason access to some of the best drivers in the world including Formula One championship leader Fernando Alonso. He says their advice has had a direct impact on his racing.

“They are very nice guys,” said Jason. “I try to listen very carefully to what they say on the radio and learn stuff from how they drive the car. I have tried changing my driving style but it’s not that easy implementing the stuff a world championship driver does.”

But even these masters will find the new Istanbul Park circuit a challenge according to Jason, who has driven around the new circuit in a road car.

“It’s unique,” he said. “It’s anti-clockwise for a start and the elevation changes on the circuit are very high. Drivers are going to love it but they are going to struggle.”

When Jason returns to Bath to continue his studies, it is hoped that he will play a major role as a driver and designer in the already successful Team Bath Racing team which competes in the annual Formula Student competition organised by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

“It’s not often we get students with such a breadth of experience in this exciting industry,” said Dr Darling.

“It’s too early to say whether Jason will end up as a driver or a top flight engineer but you can be sure that the University of Bath will give him every support to make his dream come true.”

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