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The news about Alexey Lukjanuk’s participation in Rally Masters Show 2013 made happy Russian fans – the driver from St-Petersburg performs in the Estonian and Latvian Championship but on the Russian special stages he does it very seldom.
Have you ever had an experience of participation in asphalt rallies?
Alexey Lukjanuk: I’ve had it but not so much. I can consider only last two years – sometimes there were asphalt special stages but they were short and in mud. That’s why it’s difficult to call them asphalt. At Rally Sarma we drove on slicks on asphalt but it was awful, in panic with big eyes, because it was dark, many spectators, and narrow road. We drove without experience but we realized that we could have driven quicker. In 2005 I drove VAZ-2105 at asphalt rally but it was so long ago that I don’t remember anything. We have an experience in ring roads when we worked with Audi and BMW. I think it can help me. But in general it will be an interesting experience on a new surface.
What car will you drive?
Alexey Lukjanuk: The team is preparing for us the same car we drive usually - Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X group N. It will have an asphalt suspension but I’m not sure about asphalt brakes.But I think that they will be useful on mountain road of 30 km.
Your crew hasn’t participated in Russia since 2011. What are your expectations from this rally on an unusual surface for Russian drivers?
Alexey Lukjanuk: Hard to say. Firstly, I don’t know the final entry-list. Secondly, the statistics says that it’s difficult to predict the result. For example, I consider Kaspar Koitla to be one of the strongest sportsman of the Baltic countries and he finished on the third place last year who was competing with Evgeny Novikov and Vasily Gryazin…I think it’s difficult to drive in such car on asphalt because it’s heavy and it’s probably one of the best variants for curvy special stages. It will be good if we struggle. And if there are sportsmen on the same cars – to compare their and our levels But actually, to talk about cars of other classes is difficult because the car’s choice influence asphalt. The car is more important on asphalt surface.
What surface is more preferable for you – dry or wet?
Alexey Lukjanuk: It’s calm to drive on dry asphalt, the grip with surface should be more predictable, there are less unexpected things. However, if to drive on asphalt slicks it won’t be boring on dry asphalt. Wet weather is always more nervous: hard braking, possible to loose a car at the corner. But I’m sure we’ll cope with everything, there shouldn’t be any problem. The mood will be positive as when it’s dry and bright.
Are you planning to test your car with asphalt settings?
Alexey Lukjanuk: I think no. The result is not so important here, participation is the main thing because it’s a show and there is no goal to struggle for seconds. Go ahead!
Rally Masters Show will be held on the 20 of April at Krylatskoe in Moscow. TTK Motorsport Events is an organizer of it. The rally is supported by Moscow Government and Moskomsport.