Win doesn’t guar­entee Lukyanuk’s fu­ture in Euro­pean se­ries

Motor Sport News - - Rally News - By An­thony Pea­cock Pho­tos: FIA ERC

De­spite win­ning the Rally Is­las Ca­narias, Euro­pean Rally Cham­pi­onship leader Alexey Lukyanuk says he still doesn’t have a guar­an­teed bud­get to en­able him to com­plete the sea­son.

With en­tries for the Cir­cuit of Ire­land, the next round of the ERC, clos­ing ear­lier this week, Lukyanuk was not in a po­si­tion to say whether or not he would be in Belfast as the Ca­naries event ended – or whether he would be able to chal­lenge for the ti­tle this year.

“I wish I could say, but the truth is that I re­ally do not know,” said the Ford Fi­esta driver. “We’re a small team and we are al­ways strug­gling for bud­get. There are no long-term deals, ev­ery­thing we do will be on a rally-byrally ba­sis. But of course it def­i­nitely helps to find spon­sor­ship when you have re­sults like this. I’m happy to win the rally but there is no break for me – I will be spend­ing the next days look­ing for spon­sors.”

Lukyanuk will face an up­hill strug­gle to chal­lenge for the ti­tle against bet­ter-funded com­peti­tors this year; se­cond-placed Ka­je­tan Ka­je­tanow­icz has a long-term deal from Pol­ish oil firm Lo­tos (which for­merly backed Robert Ku­bica), while Skoda fac­tory driver Jan Kopecky is also ex­pected to com­pete this year.

On a more fun­da­men­tal level, Lukyanuk’s co-driver Alexey Ar­nau­tov ad­mit­ted he had a race against time of his own.

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