Evgeny Novikov has said he will be looking to build on what he achieved on the Acropolis when he takes in Rally Italia Sardegna this week.

The Russian led a WRC event for the first time in Greece, finishing the opening day at the top of the leaderboard in his Fiesta RS WRC car, 30.3 seconds up on his nearest rival.

While the following leg didn't go to plan after he hit a rock, he was nevertheless still encouraged and is keen to again run at the front in Sardinia, an event he has done well on in the past, finishing in a creditable fifth place on his 2009 debut and claiming the second step of the podium on last year's outing.

"We've done well here in the past so I'll be hoping to do well again this year," said the Qatar M-Sport World Rally Team pilot. "I think we proved in Greece that we can challenge at the top of the field. We set a good pace and won a lot of stages which is something we'll be looking to build on in Sardinia.

"Of course this is another really challenging event. The stages can be quite slippery so it's important to settle into a good rhythm from the very first stage. There can also be a lot of rocks on the side of the road that you need to look out for - it's not so easy to recover from a mistake here!

"As always we will try our best. If you look at what happened last year, a lot of the front runners were caught out.

"Hopefully everything will come together for us as it did last year and we will be able to secure another good result for the team."