Turkmen president wins on racing track
ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan—Turkmenistan's authoritarian leader has proven he doesn't only win elections easily by coming first in a car race he wasn't even supposed to take part in.
President Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov purportedly arrived at a racing track in a Bugatti sports car Saturday morning to give his blessing to the former Soviet Central Asian nation's maiden automotive competition.
After asking to take part, Berdymukhamedov changed into racing gear and proceeded to record the best time in the time-trial challenge.
Berdymukhamedov initially favored a low-key style after taking power in the wake of his eccentric predecessor's death in late 2006, but his public persona has become the subject of an increasingly grand state mythology. He won presidential elections in February with 97 percent of the vote.