RUSSIAN IN ERC BUDGET STRUGGLE
Win doesn’t guarentee Lukyanuk’s future in European series
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.