Date of birth : 12/12/1980
Who is he? Fast and spectacular, Russian Lukyanuk has forged a reputation for being unbeatable one minute, crash-happy the next. But there’s much to the St Petersburg speed merchant as his dominant victories in the Azores and Gran Canaria attest. He also won in Italy and makes his PZM Rally Poland debut on the brink of winning the FIA European Rally Championship for the first time.
Stunning start: The Russian burst onto the ERC scene when he battled rallying legend François Delecour for a podium in Latvia in 2013 in his production-spec Mitsubishi Lancer. That earned him the Colin McRae ERC Flat Out Trophy, something he was awarded again when he was second on Rally Estonia in 2014 in the same car. He went one better in Estonia the following season – incredibly in a production-based Lancer – won again in Switzerland and started and finished 2016 with wins in Spain and Cyprus.
Money woes: Lukyanuk’s budgetary issues – a regular problem now and in the past – blighted a planned graduation to WRC2 for 2017 making the ERC his focus instead.
Tough times: However, it was a truncated campaign. After dominating Rally Islas Canarias in early May, Lukyanuk was seriously injured in a testing crash in his native Russia and missed the rallies in Greece and Cyprus.
Heroic return: His return on Rally Rzeszow in August 2017 ended in a dramatic accident while battling for the lead, making his brave second on Barum Czech Rally Zlín (he spent much of the event suffering considerable pain in his left foot whenever he had to brake heavily) crucial in his bid to get his season firmly back on track. Sadly, further crashes while leading in Italy and an electrical fault while ahead in Latvia meant his campaign rather petered out. But it’s been a different story in 2018 as his title advantage proves.
Azores Airlines Rallye: 1
Rally Islas Canarias: 1
EKO Acropolis Rally: 21
Cyprus Rally: DNF (accident)
Rally di Roma Capitale: 1
Barum Czech Rally Zlín: 2
Rally Poland: DNF (accident)