Lukyanuk: ERC title my focus in Zlín
Alexey Lukyanuk has vowed not to lose focus when the FIA European Rally Championship heads to Czech Republic this week.
The ERC leader by nine points over Bruno Magalhães has never won Barum Czech Rally Zlín but has come close to ending home hero Jan Kopecký’s dominance of the event in recent seasons.
However, he insists winning the coveted ERC title is the priority when action gets underway on Friday, and will drive accordingly in the Ford Fiesta R5 he shares with co-driver Alexey Arnautov.
“We focus mainly on our championship goals,” said the Russian Performance Motorsport driver. “It would be nice to be on the podium or the top spot but, to be honest, we don’t plan to lend all our abilities to achieve that. We need points and at this point of the championship it’s crucial. I would like to fight with Jan and the others but I plan to drive my speed, not play a super-careful game, but at the same time, we need to manage things right – it’s more about championship points at the moment.”
Lukyanuk finished fourth on his Barum Czech Rally Zlín debut in 2015 and was runner-up last season, despite recovering from serious leg injuries at the time.
“It’s really fun and joyful for me to drive these roads,” said the 37-year-old. “It’s pure rally roads, not [a race] circuit like Canarias or something like that. It’s bumpy, it’s narrow, it’s very twisty and technical and fast at the same time so it really suits my driving style, my attitude and feeling in the car.”