Drivers in the Ford Otosan Rally were shocked when they were pulled over by the police and asked for their license and registration, daily Milliyet reported yesterday.
The sixth leg of the Turkish Rally Championship was held in the Marmara province of Kocaeli, where racers drove through the city at one stage of the race.
Kocaeli residents called the police complaining about the noise from the race cars. Police then tracked down and pulled over the rally cars, asking drivers for their license and registration. The police also told the drivers they would issue tickets.
It was later revealed that Kocaeli locals were not aware the races were taking place and had thought an illegal race was occurring. Rally drivers were baffled when police told them to drive slowly through residential areas.
Kocaeli Motorists' Association Chairman Ceyhun Yılmaz and other officials from the racing organization talked with the authorities and the race was re-started after rally cars returned to the starting point. Yağız Avcı won the race after the re-start.
Yılmaz said they had all the necessary permits from the governorship “down to all lower levels, but that the police had stopped the cars after complaints about the noise.”