Ford Boss Hopes in Novikov Shows True Potential in Mexico

When Russian rally driver Evgeny Novikov makes his return to the World Rally Championship next month, in Mexico (March 3-6), it will give everybody a chance to see just how much potential this 20-year old racer has and how he can develop into a world class rally driver.

And it's not us speaking, but the very boss of Ford's WRC operations Malcolm Wilson. Novikov will drive a Stobart-prepared Ford Fiesta RS WRC in Mexico next month and Wilson believes the Russian has a huge potential to score a great result, especially since he'll team up with one of the most experienced co-drivers in the WRC, 42-year old Stephane Prevot.

There’s no question that he’s got huge potential. He’s also got a very experienced co-driver so it’s a very promising combination,” said Wilson about the Russian who used to drive for the competition a while back, while doing a selected-rally programme with Citroen Junior Team.

Indeed, Novikov made a name of himself in the WRC back in 2009, as part of a selected race programme with Citroen's satellite team. Despite showcasing some impressive performances though his first campaign – we all remember the way he managed to control his landing in Rally Finland's jump – lack of funds prevented him from continuing his collaboration with the French manufcaturer.

Consequently, he spent the entire 2010 season driving in domestic championships.

Having red notes for drivers like Francois Duval, Stephane Sarrazin or Chris Atkinson in the past, Prevot admitted his excitement over getting to partner Novikov - with whom he competed partially in 2009 - which he argues is one of the great talents of the rallying world.

For sure he can be very fast and his potential is 200 per cent,” said Prevot, according to WRC's official website. “He does not have the experience of many of the other drivers and the deal for Mexico is quite late so he does not know the car. But his talent is known and I am very motivated to have this opportunity to work with him again.
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