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ASHGABAT, April 9 (TCA) -- Turkmenistan's authoritarian leader proved he doesn't only win elections easily, coming first in a car race he wasn't even supposed to take part in.

 On a day when Turkmenistan was marking Health Day, Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov on April 7 visited the car race track for the country's first auto race.

President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov drove to the racing track in a Bugatti sports car Saturday morning ostensibly to give his blessing to the former Soviet Central Asian nation's maiden automotive competition.

After askign "Can I take part?", the Turkmen President had changed into racing gear, entered the zippy and diminutive Turkish-made Volkicar automobile and promptly proceeded to record the best time in the time-trial challenge.

Berdymukhammedov won, recording the best time in the time-trials.

Following his victory organizers of event decided to send the Volkicar, a car the president received for the win, the Turkmen president drove to the national sports museum.

Berdymulhammedov won the race driving Bugatti Veyron, one of the fastest street-legal cars with speeds up to 400 kilometers per hour and with a cost of around $2 million.

This is combined report of TCA with the news from: AP; RFE\RL


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