Lukyanuk reveals ERC Rally Rzeszow crash cause

LUKYANUK Alexey (RUS)  Ford Fiesta R5 ambiance portrait during the 2017 European Rally Championship Rally Rzeszowski in Poland from August 4 to 6 - Photo Gregory Lenormand / DPPI

Alexey Lukyanuk has blamed his Rally Rzeszow exit on a pacenote error but has confirmed that he and co-driver Alexey Artaunov escaped with bruising after their Russian Performance Motorsport Ford Fiesta R5 rolled several times on the FIA European Rally Championship counter.

Lukyanuk was leading on his comeback from serious injury when he hit trouble approximately four kilometres from the finish of the Pstrągowa stage this morning.

“I have a constant smile on my face, though somebody may not accept this approach to the matter,” said Lukyanuk. “I have a feeling of full unity with the car and some magical control of it but, regretfully, there was a mistake in the pacenotes. One of the corners was too optimistic. We have done 45 kilometres before and everything was ideal, that’s why I was fully confident in the car and my abilities.

“I started to enter the right corner too early, supposing it was fast corner, that corresponded to my notes, but it appeared to be harder and we touched the ditch on the exit. There was a bank in the ditch in some 20-30 metres and it launched us in the air, we rolled several times on the road. We are both okay, apart from a couple of bruises I do not count.

“Spectators said we were leading [Mads] Østberg by seven seconds by that point and it fully corresponds to my feeling that we were doing well. I felt we have to increase, as Mads is a serious fighter and first SS he was just getting ready. I was sure he will be faster on the second one. Though I was not risking, driving according to my feelings following the pacenotes. Regretfully the fault during recce, now I know why it happened, the previous corner was over the crest and I concentrated on it and paid less attention to the next one evaluating it less then it should be.

“As usually, the lesson is expensive, but the speed is the core, and the confidence is still there – I want to drive again. And if there was an option to restart with Rally2, I will do it immediately, but the car is damaged badly and we will have the next chance on Barum.

“I am sorry for our fans. Guys it is rally. I believe it is better to win a couple of special stages and retire than to drag behind in fifth or 10th positon.”