Alexey Lukyanuk: “Even though I was on two wheels, I was under control”


Luk-on-two-wheelsAlexey Lukyanuk won round six of the 2015 FIA European Rally Championship, auto24 Rally Estonia, in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X, despite incurring a 10 second penalty for making a jump start. It was a truly masterful display of speed, coverage and showmanship, as the reigning Russian and Estonian champion waved to the crowd as he powered through the final stage – which was almost his undoing! caught up with Lukyanuk at the finish.

In such a close battle, how were you able to increase your 2.4 second lead to 12 seconds on this morning’s loop?
“I was as fast as before, but I think maybe Kajto was a little slower because it was a bit more slippery or tricky roads, I don’t know. We did not expect to have such a big lead after those stages in the morning.”

You lost the lead on leg one with a 10 second penalty. Did you think your hopes of winning there over?
“It was a very hard moment when I realised that I had that penalty. Ten seconds is a lot on this rally, and after the penalty I thought that winning was almost impossible. But things changed and we found some extra speed somewhere and we did a good job.”

It must have been a tense final stage. What happened on the final corner?
“I was excited that the end of the rally was coming, and waving to the crowds! Even though I was on two wheels, I was under control – but for sure it wasn’t planned. I waved to the crowds as soon as we were back on all four wheels. It wasn’t a problem!”