All goes to plan for Lukyanuk on the ERC in Latvia
Alexey Lukyanuk declared that "everything worked out as intended" after taking his ERC2-specification Mitsubishi to second overall on round nine of the FIA European Rally Championship in Latvia.
11 Lukyanuk Alexey Kapustin Roman Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X Action during the 2016 European Rally Championship ERC Liepaja rally, from september 16 to 18 at Liepaja, Lettonie - Photo Jorge Cunha / DPPIERC
After a difficult run of events, the Russian ace swapped his usual Ford Fiesta R5 for the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X he used to win in Estonia in 2015. He couldn't repeat that result on Rally Liepāja up against home hero Ralfs Sirmacis in his ŠKODA Fabia R5, but still achieved his pre-event target of a podium.
The result allowed him to hold onto second in the standings ahead of Sirmacis, with the duo all set to conclude their battle on the season-ending CNP ASFALISTIKI Cyprus Rally next month with just two points between them.
"Everything turned out as intended," said Lukyanuk, who was navigated by Roman Kapustin with usual co-driver Alexey Arnautov unavailable with work commitments. "I was hoping we could be on the podium: we finished second. We lost nine points to Ralfs in the championship but we are still in second place. There was no opportunity to fight for first position: the ŠKODA was much faster than the Lancer. Ralfs was going too quickly and even if I had taken risks I could not have got close."
Thanking the EAMV team that prepared his Mitsubishi as well as his partners for their support, Lukyanuk declared: "We are heading to Cyprus!"