Why it's "bring it on" time for Russian Rocket Lukyanuk in ERC

Why it's "bring it on" time for Russian Rocket Lukyanuk in ERC

07.04.2021: - Russian Rocket starts 2021 European season in contention for record-equalling third crown - Title defence in Pirelli-equipped Citroën C3 Rally2 run by Saintéloc, co-driven by Arnautov - Lukyanuk: “I’m just really anxious to start racing – bring

- Russian Rocket starts 2021 European season in contention for record-equalling third crown

- Title defence in Pirelli-equipped Citroën C3 Rally2 run by Saintéloc, co-driven by Arnautov

- Lukyanuk: “I’m just really anxious to start racing – bring it on!”

Alexey Lukyanuk has issued a “bring it on” cry as he prepares to join an exclusive club of drivers in the FIA European Rally Championship.

Since the ERC was inaugurated in 1957, only Kajetan Kajetanowicz, Luca Rossetti and Sobiesław Zasada have won the coveted title three times. After lifting the ERC crown for a second time in 2020, Russian Lukyanuk is in contention to join them after his 2021 campaign in a Citroën C3 Rally2 run by Saintéloc Junior Team on Pirelli tyres was confirmed.

But Lukyanuk, who will link up with compatriot and long-term co-driver Alexey Arnautov, is mindful of the fact that a third title is far from guaranteed given the strong competition he’ll face in the ERC.

“It should be an exciting year and I believe it will be very strong competition with very strong drivers getting ready,” said the 40-year-old St Petersburg-based ace. “We will try to be as competitive as possible and have good fun. I am also happy to see the calendar with eight events as before. I’m just really anxious to start racing – bring it on!”

Lukyanuk, who took wins on Rally di Roma Capitale and Rally Fafe Montelongo on his way to the 2020 ERC title, has thanked a number of partners for making his 2021 campaign possible. “I’m really excited to announce we keep working together with Citroën and thanks for the support and the opportunities.

Last year we achieved a massive result and reached a milestone by taking the victory in the European Rally Championship. We continue thanks to our sponsors Coolstream, Hortex and Pirelli, to our small partners, Space Travel and AutoSportMedia Agency, and to Saintéloc of course.”

Arnautov all in for 2021

After ending a short sabbatical from co-driving on last November’s Rally Islas Canarias, Arnautov is working towards a full campaign in 2021. “I am happy to be back in the game,” said the 43-year-old.

“It is always nice to be part of the team especially in scenic places as most rallies are held in. It is not easy for me to participate in all of the events, but we should get into the fight and see if it is manageable.”

Citroën upgrades excite Lukyanuk

The 2021 ERC is set to begin on the 55th Azores Rallye from May 6-8 when Lukyanuk will compete in Citroën’s renamed and upgraded C3 Rally2 for the first time. The car is an enhanced version of the C3 R5 Lukyanuk used in 2020.

“I’m really looking forward to testing the changes to what is a great and solid all-round car and I am happy to see that Citroën is continuing the development,” said Lukyanuk. “We discussed with the engineers some steps to do and it will be nice to see them come to life.”

Richard Rodgers, photos FIA ERC

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/bring-it-on-russian-rocket-lukyanuk-erc---221418.html

07.04.2021 / MaP

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