The Formula One dream At the Sachsenring, on the penultimate race weekend of the 2009 ATS Formula 3 Cup season, Ukrainian Sergey Chukanov secured the ATS Formula 3 Trophy title early. Having competed in the Cup with a latest-spec car, in 2008,...
The Formula One dream
At the Sachsenring, on the penultimate race weekend of the 2009 ATS Formula 3 Cup season, Ukrainian Sergey Chukanov secured the ATS Formula 3 Trophy title early. Having competed in the Cup with a latest-spec car, in 2008, he contested the 2009 season for STROMOS-ARTLINE. The Russian squad entered the in-house designed and built Arttech F24 OPC-Challenge in the Trophy - contested with older-spec cars. And apart from two races, Chukanov always made it to the podium. Several times he even scored points for the Cup ranking. In our Q&A, the 21-year old talks about a season full of work and his goals for the future.
How important has it been for you to win the ATS Formula 3 Trophy?
It was very important. We started into the season with the goal to win the title. At the beginning, we were some four seconds slower than the rest of the field - but then, we made major changes on the car. After all, the Arttech F24 is an older car and in consideration of this fact we did a really good job. At season halftime we had closed the gap. We could secure really good results and even made it to the top ten in the Cup ranking. This alone is a good reason for being truly happy with the course of the season.
You have secured 13 wins, so far. Has it been hard work to win the title? The entire team worked hard and did a great job. We tested new parts and worked on the setup in every single race. As a result, we succeeded in improving ourselves and the car consistently and made progress race by race.
Has the switch from the Dallara chassis to Arttech been a difficult one, for you?
It was tough in the beginning but then, things got easier. Prior to the 2009 season, the car never had been raced on major European racetracks. Therefore, we hadn't any data and good setups for the respective venues. But now it has proven its competitiveness at these circuits. Having gathered the necessary experience, the team will continue its work with a new car, next year. We have been the only team racing the Arttech and I have been the only driver who consistently contributed to the car's enhancement. That's a special honour.
Are you going to continue the cooperation with the team, next year?
That's - as usual - down to the sponsors. I would love to continue racing for STROMOS ARTLINE. I'm really interested in the car - particularly as you will have to keep on executing a lot of development work.
What significance does motor racing have in your life?
I would say it's my No 1 priority. I have been motor racing for 11 or 12 years, now - virtually half my life. I'm doing really everything to keep on improving and getting faster. After having graduated from school I started studying but then I stopped doing so to have more time for practicing and exercising. Apart from that, I'm helping my father. He has got a shop for car accessories and tuning. It's my goal to make my living from motor racing, sometime.
Is there a major interest in motor racing, in the Ukraine?
Unfortunately, the answer is no - particularly when it comes to sponsoring. Finding sponsors is really difficult. I had the luck to temporarily having been integrated in the Lukoil Ukraine sports programme. But they have cancelled all the sponsoring activities. In the Ukraine, we haven't got an extensive motor-sport scene. There are just some touring-car series, but they all are low level.
What are your goals for the future?
Every single-seater racer wants to make it to Formula One. And quite obviously, I also dream of realising this goal. As I see it, everything is possible and therefore, I will keep on dreaming this dream.