February 28, 2015 – Today Erbilia Online Magazine had the pleasure of interviewing Isaac Tutumlu, a champion who has been officially representing Kurdistan in motorsports for years. Isaac Tutumlu’s passion for racing and love for Kurdistan make him a special figure, and his announcement yesterday about discontinuing this year’s season with Barazani Racing Team made us want to know about this matter and shed light, in hopes of making a positive change by encouraging companies to continue their sponsorship supports for this champion and his team.
Isaac Tutumlu Lopes, 29 years old, was born in Barcelona, Spain from a Kurdish Father and a Catalonian mother. He now lives in Barcelona Spain. Isaac started racing at the age of 2 only. His experience as a racer was nourished by his participations in numerous races of all kinds, winning a number of championships like the Nissan 350Z Challenge, Open Prototype in Spain, Winter European Radical Series, International GT Open, IberGT, Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, and many more.
Q: When did you start racing and what major achievements have you done on personal level?
I started at the age of 2 years old with go karts. My first race was at the age of 5 at the Catalan Karting Championship and since then i have won different championships like: Kart Cub Valles, DiverKart Cup, Formula Catalunya, Nissan 350Z Challenge, IberGT Championship and SuperGT Cup. I have also won and finished on the podium in many international races like the International GT Open, Dubai 24 Hours, Radical Winter Series, OEP, etc
Q: Do you have other hobbies/interests/business other than racing?
Yes, I love sports. I enjoy playing football, skiing, golf, cycling, tennis, racquetball, etc. I also love music, I used to be a DJ when I was 15 years to 21. As main business I am football agent and intermediator.
Q: When was Barazani Team born and what special achievements have you made?
The Barzani Racing Team was born in the summer of 2011 when I first met Jenabe Seroke; I told him I had a dream to represent Kurdistan officially worldwide through motorsports and he said “I approve and support all kinds of promotion through sport because sports can get things done that politics and conflicts can’t”. So since then we have done more than 30 races in 4 different continents and in over 15 countries with 5 victories, more than 10 podiums and winning two championships, the IberGT and the Super GT Cup.
Q: Who are your team or personal sponsors and any word you would like to say to them for their support in the past years?
My first sponsor was Ster Group and they were the only Kurdish company that sponsored us during 2012. After that came another Kurdish company, GEG Reklam, who sponsored us together with Ster Group in 2013 and 2014. Our last sponsor, for the last two races we did (Gulf 12 Hours in Abu Dhabi and the Dubai 24 Hours) was Korek Telecom, so we have always had Kurdish companies sponsoring us and believing that this was the best way to promote themselves and Kurdistan at the same time. I want to thank them a lot for their help and support; without them this could not have been possible and a big part of the success we have had is because of them and I would like to encourage them to continue with the project of the new Kurdistan Racing Team as soon as the country recovers from its current situation and hopefully be ready to be onboard with us again.
Q: What are the reasons for the announcement of discontinuing your career as a driver and team for this season?
Well, hopefully I will be able to continue my career as a driver, we are in talks with different teams that are interested in supporting us; but we won’t be able to race with the Barzani Racing Team colors and representing Kurdistan officially because we haven’t been able to get the enough support to race again this 2015 season. I would love to be able to continue racing and representing Kurdistan but the only way to do it is through sponsoring deals with the brands like Ferrari, Corvette, Porsche, Mercedes, Mclaren, etc. In Kurdistan we do not have a motorsport federation till now, so I have to race with my Spanish license that I get through the Spanish Motorsport Federation. I hope in the near future we will be able to continue again, it is a big shame because after the good results the last two years we made very good offers to race at the World Championship Blancpain GT Series representing officially Kurdistan and we had the approval from the different motorsports organizations, car brands, TV and press to change the name to Kurdistan Racing Team to make it even more official!
Q: What would make you and the team get back into racing again?
The Barzani Racing Team will be back to racing again as soon as we have companies sponsoring us to complete the budget needed to race. I beg to these companies to support us as we are the first and only team in the world representing Kurdistan officially and I feel myself as a world ambassador for Kurdistan. I know that the situation nowadays is not good in Kurdistan, we are in war against ISIS, Baghdad is not paying the budget agreed, etc, but NOW is the most important moment to continue doing promotion for Kurdistan, we have to show the world that Kurdistan is safe for investors and tourists, we have to give some prosperity and happiness to our people, we have to get more international support and recognition, and the best way to do it is through sports!
Q: Any additional information or words you would like to say?
I just want to say to all the companies and personalities in Kurdistan that really like the Barzani Racing Team and the new named Kurdistan Racing Team to help us to be able to continue representing Kurdistan and make all Kurds proud of our country and land.
Q: Your final word for the people of Kurdistan
The time for independence has arrived and the well deserved peace is coming soon, we have to believe in that and we will get it! Biji Kurd u Kurdistan!
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Thank you Isaac and we hope to see you again on the race tracks, asap.