Evgeny Novikov has admitted it was his own fault he missed out on fifth place on Rally Sweden.
The Qatar M-Sport World Rally Team man had run in P5 for much of the event, the second round in the 2013 FIA World Rally Championship, however, disaster struck within sight of the finish on Sunday, when he rolled his Fiesta RS WRC car on the second pass of the Kirkener test, SS20.
That off cost the Russian over 10 minutes and while the 22-year-old could continue and went on to post the fourth fastest time on the following stage – despite having shattered his windscreen – he was relegated to ninth overall.
It was a disappointing end to the event, especially as he had been more than 2 minutes up on team-mate, Thierry Neuville in sixth prior to SS20, and especially as he also lost a likely podium on Rallye Monte Carlo last month, when he succumbed to the treacherous conditions on the final day – again in what was the third from last stage.
“[The roll on SS20] was my mistake,” Novikov admitted. “I was just a bit late with the braking into a tricky, narrow, slow right-hand corner and we rolled.
“The main thing I felt was disappointment at losing the time. It wasn't a big accident though and it looked a lot worse than it was.”
Despite that frustration, however, he was happy with the speed he showed and was pleased to have got through all the stages: “The positive thing is that we had some very good speed on this rally and got to the finish,” he confirmed.
“Of course fifth place would have been better, but the speed was there this weekend and I will now be in a much stronger position for next year,” he concluded philosophically.