Russian driver Alexey Lukyanuk is set to return to the FIA European Rally Championship next weekend on the auto 24 Rally Estonia. The former Russian Rally Champion will compete in the ERC2 category in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X.
Lukyanuk won the ERC2 category in Estonia last year and finished second overall winning the Colin McRae ERC Flat Out Trophy in the process. This makes him the favourite to take the win in the category again this year. The Russian driver is also reuniting with his old co-driver Alexey Arnautov for the event.
Lukyanuk contested the first three rounds of the championship in a Ford Fiesta R5 and is currently fourth in the drivers standings but budget issues forced him to miss SATA Rallye Açores and the Kenotek by CID LINES Ypres Rally.
“We have had to stop our ERC performance with Chervonenko and the R5 due to the tough financial situation,” said Lukyanuk. “But likely I have some support from other source, so it’s enough to take a start with our Mitsubishi Evo X. Indeed it is four or five times less expensive, and Estonia is very close, so it’s the best place for us now. After all, we were quite strong last year there getting to second overall with this Evo.
“Now it’s going to be extremely tough to fight for a similar result, as we see a huge pack of strongest drivers on the list, but anyway we are aiming to produce the maximum possible result and strike hard for each second.”
Rally Estonia kicks off on July 17.