Breaking news: Lukyanuk retires from second in ERC
Alexey Lukyanuk’s campaign for victory on Barum Czech Rally Zlín has been ended by a puncture on stage eight, which also caused a broken front linkage that ended the FIA European Rally Championship points leader’s challenge.
Saintéloc Junior Team’s leading driver had been second and battling Jan Kopecký (ŠKODA Motorsport) for victory until a front-left puncture delayed his progress on the Halenkovice test.
Lukyanuk had initially dropped to seventh place after the rest of the field came through, slotting in between double ERC Junior champion Marijan Griebel and current ERC1 Junior contender Simon Wagner.
But further car damage sustained from the puncture forced him to retire on the road section, despite Lukyanuk and co-driver Alexey Arnautov working tirelessly to carry out emergency repairs.
“It was a slow puncture and I decided to go to the finish and we didn’t lose much time, but unfortunately it was broken in the same place as [Rally Islas] Canarias,” explained Lukyanuk, pointing out he had been forced to retire in a near-identical manner on the ERC’s second round of the season in May.
Filip Mareš (ACCR Czech Rally Team) and Chris Ingram (Toksport WRT), who are currently duelling over the ERC1 Junior title, now pick up the battle over second place, separated by only 1.2s heading to leg one’s final stage.