Young Russian Evgeny Novikov says he isn't setting himself any targets in terms of results as he prepares for his second outing with Citroen's Junior Team in the third round of the World Rally Championship in Cyprus.
The highly-rated teenager finished eleventh in Norway in what was his first outing in the C4 WRC and now heads for the mixed-surface event in Cyprus on the back of a successful five-day test session, where he shared time in the car with team-mates Conrad Rautenbach and Sebastien Ogier.
While he has been nominated as a points scorer for the team this weekend, Novikov said he wasn't thinking too much about results with his main aim for the weekend being to bring his car to the finish to gain more vital experience in WRC machinery.
“I was very pleased with our gravel test,” he said. “We soon found a good rhythm with the Citroen C4 WRC, and we're obviously delighted by the fantastic opportunity that we have to drive the most competitive car in the championship, run by the Citroen Junior Team.
“For what's still only our second rally in a WRC machine, we're not fixing any sort of objectives in terms of results. The key thing about this event is that we have the chance to drive on gravel in order to prepare for the rest of the championship. There's no need to focus too much on the opening day though as it's going to be a very long event.”
South African driver Rautenbach has also been nominated for points this weekend and he said he was hopeful of a good result following the successful pre-event test.
“I've driven on asphalt before with a gravel set-up, but never further than a few hundred metres!” he said. “In Cyprus though, we're going to have to drive for a whole day on tyres designed for gravel stages. It's going to be a very strange experience. We're not going to have anything like the same levels of grip that we are accustomed to and the cars will end up sliding a lot. I'm sure it will be good fun for all the spectators though! Our test went very well and I hope that we can soon find a good feeling when it comes to the actual rally.”