Anadol, competing under Ülker sponsorship, made the 14,500 Km, becoming second in the Beijing-Paris Rally

The Turkish team, which participated in the world’s most famous classic automobile race, the Beijing-Paris Rally, crossed the finish line in second place.

Participating in the race through the support of Ülker, Ahmet Şefik Öngün and Erdal Tokcan succeeded in coming in second in their Anadol-make automobiles by covering the 14,500 km from Beijing to Paris.

The money the Turkish team, which had turned the rally into a social responsibility project with the Community Volunteers Foundation, got through sponsorship, SMS and a Teleton campaign was used for the four-year education of 250 university students.

The Turkish team told of how they overcame many dangers on the way: “In the Gobi desert, we got stuck in sand and in Greece, we went off the road because of rain and hit a tree. Despite all of these difficulties, we successfully completed the race and came in second. It made us really happy to race for a great purpose and win.” 

The Turkish team made its mark on the Beijing-Paris Rally, the most famous classic automobile race in the world, which has been able to be held only four times due to its difficult course. The Turkish team, consisting of Ahmet Şefik Öngün and Erdal Tokcan, who drove 14,500 km for education, came in second in a race they in which they participated for the first time. The Turkish team raced under Ülker sponsorship, took off from Beijing in their Anadol model automobiles and, after a difficult 37-day struggle, managed to be among the top three teams that succeeded in reaching Paris.

Ahmet Şefik Öngün and Erdal Tokcan, who had previously participated in many international races, turned this difficult race, for which Ülker was the main sponsor, into a campaign for education. The two rally enthusiasts transferred their earnings from their sponsorships to the Community Volunteers Foundation, thereby enabling 250 students to obtain 4-year scholarships.

The arduous 37-day race began on September 10th 2010 in Beijing in the famous Tiananmen Square. The rally, in which 106 teams for the four corners of the globe participate, ended on October 16th 2010 at the Place Vendôme in Paris. During the race, these classic automobile enthusiasts passed through China, Mongolia, the Gobi Deserts, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kirgizstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Iran, before arriving in Turkey on October 7th 2010. The teams then took routes through Erzurum, Nevşehir, Bolu and Istanbul, finally leaving Turkey on October 11th, continuing on through Greece and Italy, before completing the race in France.

Goal: four-year scholarships to 250 young people

Participating with a 1967 model Anadol A1, Öngün and Tokcan talked about how happy they felt being able to contribute to a social responsibility project. The two said, “We assumed responsibility for the entrance fee to the race and for getting the Anadol ready. We donated the project to the Community Volunteers Foundation. We will try to provide 4-year scholarships to 250 students with the corporate and individual support we received as part of this project. We would like to thank our main sponsor, Ülker, and all of our sponsors who supported us, for the support they have given to such an educational project.” 

A challenging 14,500-km race course

Öngün and Tokcan bought an Anadol A1 they found at the Ümraniye Municipal Parking Lot and gave it to Serdar Bostancı and his crew at the Ford Rally Sports Garage, where it was overhauled so as to be able to complete the extremely demanding 14,500-km Beijing-Paris race course. The Turkish team, which competed as door number 96, had this to say about the strenuous race: “We had raced on such a difficult course before. We tried to take all the essential precautions. Without ruining the technology used in the initial production of the vehicle, we raised the engine from 1200 cc to 1600 cc, and increased the fuel tank to 120 liters. To be able to make 500-600 km a day, we completely changed the interior of the car. Racing seats were installed. We went all out to be able to complete the race in the top three. Even so, we overcame many perils. We got stuck in sand in the Gobi desert and ran off the road due to rain and slammed into a tree. Despite all these challenges, we managed to complete the race and come in first. Being able to race for such a goal and winning has made us very happy.”


We stand behind young people and children

Yıldız Holding Corporate Communications General Director Zuhal Şeker, explaining the reasons for supporting the Turkish Team, consisting of Ahmet Öngün and Erdal Tokcan, by acting as the main sponsor with its “Ülker” brand, said,  “Children and young people have a very important place in Ülker’s social responsibility plans and sponsorship strategies. Therefore, the use of the income obtained by the Turkish Team from the rally for the education of young people afforded us a place in the project.”   

It became an exemplary model

Chairman of the Board of the Community Volunteers Foundation, İbrahim Betil, stressing that the foundation was a change and transformation project aiming at transforming the energy of  youth into social utility, said “In 2009, approximately 23 thousand community volunteer youth, served closed to 290 thousand persons through the 727 social responsibility projects they carried out in a variety of area. These young people who through their community service projects, were introduced to active citizenship and achieved important personal development.  At the same time, they contributed enormously to the communities in which they live.”
Indicating that by turning the Beijing-Paris Rally into a social responsibility project, they had created an exemplary model supporting youth, Beti stated that the entire sponsorship earnings would be transferred to the foundation to provide student scholarships and that all of the expenses of the rally would be met by Ahmet Öngün and Erdal Tokcan.


About the Beijing-Paris Classic Automobile Rally

The “Peking to Paris Rally” was held for the first time in 1907 and is today one of the most popular races. The Peking to Paris Rally,” which begins in China and, after a 36-day journey over the Silk Road, ends in Paris, is held once every four years. The race, in which at most 1968 models can participate, is a fight for survival at every stage. This year, 106 classic automobiles from different countries, including England, the US, France and Italy, participated in the race.

Technical features of the Anadol A1:

Date of Manufacture: 1967
Production series: 372
Engine volume: 1600 cc
Engine power: 93 horsepower
Torque: 125 Newton - Metre

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