Yuriy Protasov

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Yuriy Protasov
Протасов Юрий Леонидович.JPG
Protasov at Rally Chernivtsi-600
Personal information
Nationality Ukrainian
Born (1984-04-23) April 23, 1984 (age 33)
World Rally Championship record
Active years 20112015
Teams Darnitsa Motorsport
Rallies 45
Championships 0
Rally wins 0
Podiums 0
Stage wins 1
Total points 10
First rally 2011 Rally Sweden
Last rally 2015 Wales Rally GB

Yuriy Protasov (Ukrainian: Юрій Протасов, born April 23, 1984 in the Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union) is a rally driver from Ukraine. He won the Ukrainian Rally Championship in 2008. In 2011, Protasov contested in the Production World Rally Championship (PWRC) with the Darnitsa Motorsport driving a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X.

Career[edit]

Karting[edit]

Yuriy Protasov began his motorsport career in 1994 under the guidance of his father, a famous Ukrainian driver Leonid Protasov. In the second season he won the Ukrainian Karting Championship in the class "Pioneer-A" (1995). This was followed by a similar victories in the Ukrainian Karting Championship 1996 (class "Pioneer-B"), 1997 (classes "Popular-Junior" and "ICA-Junior") and 1998 (Class "Popular-Junior"), as well as "bronze" in the Ukrainian Karting Championship in 1998 in the class "ICA-Junior."

The latest achievement of Yuriy in karting was the "bronze" in the International karting race "Chaika-2001" (class «ICA»).[1]

Circuit racing[edit]

After the end of the active performances in karting Protasov tried his hand at circuit racing, performing in 2000 in Formula Ford serie (cars up to 1998 year). By the end of the season, Yuriy took 14th place in the overall classification of the series and won the bronze medal in its class.

In 2003, Yuriy Protasov took part in the Ukrainian Circuit Championship (class A9) and took second place. A year later, the pilot took part in a test drive of the Formula Renault 2000 Germany, but then decided to concentrate on his rallying career.

Rally[edit]

Ukrainian Rally Championship[edit]

Yuriy Protasov's rallying career started in 1999 with performances as a co-driver (navigator) along with his father, Leonid Protasov. Their first race brought success to the family tandem - victory in the first round of the Ukrainian Rally Championship, rally "Stolitsa" (Lada Samara, A9 class). Starting from the next race crew changed Lada on Ford Escort RS 2000, but in the remaining races of the season they never again manage to finish. For some time, Yuriy switches attention to circuit races, but in 2002 returned to the rally already as a driver.[2] Since then, the only exception was the rally "Moldova" 2007, where Yuriy was a navigator in the crew of his friend Yuri Yanovsky.[3]

Yuriy Protasov – Alexander Gorbik, Rally Trembita 2007

First Yuriy's steps as a professional rally driver was helped by his family friend, businessman and motor sport enthusiast Taras Chernukha who becomes the co-driver of the crew for the next four seasons. During this period, the crew mastered the discipline systematically changing cars. Another Lada Samara (season 2002) was again replaced by Ford Escort RS 2000 (2003), followed by Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution (2004), and finally, Subaru Impreza (2005). Exactly on this car crew achieves the greatest success in their joint career, winning the overall classification in prestigious Life Yalta Rally. In fact, it becomes an extreme point of joint performances of Protasov and Chernukha - at the end of 2005 Taras retired as a navigator.

In search of a new partner Yuriy refers to Alexander Skochik, and they – without much success – hold Ukrainian Rally Championship 2006. However, for the continuation of a serious career, Protasov need the more professional co-driver – and he invites Alexander Gorbik, former navigator of Yuriy's main rival, Olexandr Saliuk Jr.. In a bitter struggle Protasov firstly gains bronze medals of the Ukrainian Rally Championship in 2007, and then becomes the absolute champion of Ukraine in 2008.[4]

At the same time close cooperation between Protasov and Ace Racing team begins, which later transformed into the Darnitsa Motorsport team. The squad set the extremely high goals, so after winning the national championship Yuriy decreases his appearance in Ukrainian rallies. From 2009 to 2014, he started only three times at home, fully devoting all his attention to performances on the international competitions.

European Rally Championship[edit]

The next step in the Protasov's career is European Rally Championship, where he made his debut in June 2008 at a Rajd Polski. After spending a few races with the Ukrainian Kirill Nesvit and Pole Lukasz Wronski, Protasov returns to collaboration with Adrian Aftanaziv. After overcoming a series of failures and retirements from the road, the crew seeks the first major international victory, winning the Greek Rally Elpa 2010. The result of the season was 51 points and 10th place in the overall classification of the European Championship.

World Rally Championship[edit]

Till 2011, Yuri Protasov – the constant participant of the World Rally Championship. The 2011 season could be called a warm up (crew Protasov – Aftanaziv spent only three races, while rising to the podium in Sweden). But in the 2012 Protasov, again co-working with Kyrylo Nesvit, involves in a serious fight for the Subaru Trophy established by the Belgian team Symtech Racing. Prize for winning the trophy, which Protasov gains, was the five rounds of the WRC 2013 on the Subaru Impreza fully paid by Symtech.

Yuriy Protasov - Kuldar Sikk, Rally Finland 2013

Obtained the gained right in the first five rounds of the championship, Yuriy Protasov and his new co-driver, Estonian Kuldar Sikk, change to a more powerful cars – Ford Fiesta RRC and the Ford Fiesta R5. Smart tactics and successful strategy allow the crew to perform well in the WRC 2 and, climbing the podium in three of the seven scoring events, to win the "bronze" of the world championship.

2014 Protasov begins with a new co-driver – now it's Ukrainian Pavlo Cherepin. Brilliant victories in the Monte Carlo Rally and the Rally Mexico, combined with confident performances in Sweden and Italy, allow the crew to get the top three in the WRC 2 in one round until the end of the season. But at the final round in Wales two rivals, Nasser Al-Attiyah and Jari Ketomaa moved Yuriy to 4th place.

2015 WRC season starts for Protasov and Cherepin with the brand new car – Citroen DS3 WRC prepared by D-Max Racing. Debut race goes not the best way and after that crew changes car back to Ford Fiesta RS WRC. The second WRC round in Sweden becomes historical for Protasov: setting the best time overall on special stage 6, he becomes the first Ukrainian driver able to make it.

On the next rounds of Championship in Mexico and Argentina Protasov and Cherepin return to Ford Fiesta RRC. Both times heading the WRC 2, the crew managed only to finish outside top-three due to technical problems (engine overheating in Mexico and broken suspension in Argentina). The luck came back in Italy where the crew finally won the WRC 2 round with famous Paolo Andreucci second and Jan Kopecky third. Spirited by this result, Yuriy became 3rd in Finland and Germany and 2nd in Australia, getting the record-breaking for him four podiums in row.

Career results[edit]

WRC results[edit]

Year Entrant Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 WDC Pts
2011 Darnitsa Motorsport Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X SWE
19
MEX POR
Ret
JOR ITA ARG
19
GRE FIN GER AUS FRA ESP GBR NC 0
2012 Yuriy Protasov Subaru Impreza WRX STi MON SWE MEX POR
19
ARG GRE
13
NZL GER
26
GBR FRA
41
ITA
13
ESP
28
NC 0
Citroën DS3 R3T FIN
46
2013 Symtech Racing Subaru Impreza STi R4 MON
12
SWE
15
MEX
18
POR
21
ARG
18
NC 0
MM Motorsport Ford Fiesta RRC GRE
12
ITA
Ret
FIN
15
Ford Fiesta R5 GER
12
AUS
11
FRA ESP
Ret
GBR
Ret
2014 Darnitsa Motorsport Ford Fiesta R5 MON
10
SWE
15
MEX
10
POR
31
FIN
43
26th 2
Ford Fiesta RRC ARG
Ret
ITA
13
POL AUS
13
GBR
20
M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC GER
11
FRA
16
ESP
11
2015 D-Max Racing Citroën DS3 WRC MON
16
15th 8
Yuriy Protasov Ford Fiesta RS WRC SWE
9
Ford Fiesta RRC MEX
13
ARG
13
POR ITA
7
POL FIN
13
AUS
11
ESP
14
GBR
36
Ford Fiesta R5 GER
15
FRA
20

* Season still in progress.

PWRC results[edit]

Year Entrant Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Pos. Points
2011 Darnitsa Motorsport Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX SWE
2
POR
Ret
ARG
9
FIN
DNS
AUS ESP GBR NC† 0†

† Excluded from Championship

WRC-2 results[edit]

Year Entrant Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Pos. Points
2013 Symtech Racing Subaru Impreza STi R4 MON
3
SWE
4
MEX
5
POR ARG
5
3rd 83
MM Motorsport Ford Fiesta RRC GRE
2
ITA
Ret
FIN GER
Ford Fiesta R5 AUS
2
FRA ESP GBR
2014 Yuriy Protasov Ford Fiesta R5 MON
1
SWE
5
MEX
1
POR
14
4th 90
Ford Fiesta RRC ARG
Ret
ITA
3
POL FIN GER AUS
3
FRA ESP GBR
2015 Yuriy Protasov Ford Fiesta RRC MON SWE MEX
5
ARG
4
POR ITA
1
POL FIN
3
GER AUS
2
FRA ESP
5
GBR
13
2nd 90

Podiums[edit]

# Rally Season Class Pos. Co-driver Car
1 Sweden Rally Sweden 2011 PWRC 2 Ukraine Adrian Aftanasiv Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X
2 Portugal Rally de Portugal 2012 3 1 Ukraine Kyrylo Nesvit Subaru Impreza STi
3 Greece Acropolis Rally 2012 3 1 Ukraine Kyrylo Nesvit Subaru Impreza STi
4 Italy Rally d'Italia 2012 3 1 Ukraine Kyrylo Nesvit Subaru Impreza STi
5 Monaco Monte Carlo Rally 2013 WRC 2 3 Estonia Kuldar Sikk Subaru Impreza STi R4
6 Mexico Rally Mexico 2013 2 2 Estonia Kuldar Sikk Subaru Impreza STi R4
7 Argentina Rally Argentina 2013 2 3 Estonia Kuldar Sikk Subaru Impreza STi R4
8 Greece Acropolis Rally 2013 WRC 2 2 Estonia Kuldar Sikk Subaru Impreza STi R4
9 Australia Rally Australia 2013 WRC 2 2 Estonia Kuldar Sikk Ford Fiesta R5
10 Monaco Monte Carlo Rally 2014 WRC 2 1 Ukraine Pavlo Cherepin Ford Fiesta R5
11 Mexico Rally Mexico 2014 WRC 2 1 Ukraine Pavlo Cherepin Ford Fiesta R5
12 Italy Rally d'Italia 2014 WRC 2 3 Ukraine Pavlo Cherepin Ford Fiesta RRC
13 Australia Rally Australia 2014 WRC 2 3 Ukraine Pavlo Cherepin Ford Fiesta RRC
14 Italy Rally d'Italia 2015 WRC 2 1 Ukraine Pavlo Cherepin Ford Fiesta RRC
15 Finland Rally Finland 2015 WRC 2 3 Ukraine Pavlo Cherepin Ford Fiesta RRC
16 Germany Rallye Deutschland 2015 RC 2 3 Ukraine Pavlo Cherepin Ford Fiesta R5
17 Australia Rally Australia 2015 WRC 2 2 Ukraine Pavlo Cherepin Ford Fiesta RRC

Interesting facts[edit]

Yuriy Protasov is the first Ukrainian driver won the single special stage in WRC overall – it has happened on SS6 of 2015 Rally Sweden.

Three navigators of Yuriy Protasov – Olexandr Gorbik, Adrian Aftanaziv and Pavlo Cherepin – started they rallying careers as the co-driver's of Protasov's main rival, Oleksandr Saliuk.

References[edit]

External links[edit]