Alexey Lukyanuk wins the Rallye du Valais with Pirelli
Pirelli driver Alexey Lukyanuk has won the final round of the 2015 FIA European Rally Championship in Switzerland, at the Rallye International du Valais. The Ford Fiesta R5 driver was tackling the event for only the first time, but ended up just 39 seconds behind Craig Breen at the finish. Following scrutineering, the factory Peugeot driver was handed a two-minute penalty for using two more than the 18 tyres that were allowed – as a result of which Lukyanuk was declared the winner.
This year’s Rallye du Valais benefitted from unusually mild weather, but the Swiss all-asphalt event was still an extremely tough test for the tyres. Lukyanuk made perfect use of his tyres on a surface that was unfamiliar for him, gradually working his way up the order and setting fastest time on the final five special stages. He also entertained the crowds with some spectacular driving. Lukyanuk has sealed third place in the FIA European Rally Championship following his win in Switzerland, which matches his other Pirelli-equipped triumph in Estonia, this time driving a Mitsubishi on gravel. The overall championship was already won with one round to spare by Pirelli driver Kajetan Kajetanowicz in a Ford Fiesta R5, completing an extremely successful rallying season for the Italian tyre firm. Pirelli product manager Terenzio Testoni said: “The Rallye du Valais confirmed the performance of our tyres both in terms of speed and durability, allowing the drivers to be confident with all their choices. Alexey Lukyanuk’s win in Switzerland is the culmination of a fantastic European Rally Championship season for us, with four wins from the last five rallies: two from Kajetanowicz (in Cyprus and Greece) plus two thanks to Lukyanuk (in Estonia and Switzerland). Both of these talented drivers overcame strong opposition from factory-backed squads, with the help of our tyres.”
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