Qatar M-Sport World Rally Team driver Evgeny Novikov has blamed a wrong pacenote for his off this morning in SS2 of Rally Italia Sardgena.
Novikov had been hoping 'everything would come together' this weekend after he shone on the Acropolis [see separate story
Initially he was third quickest in SS1, 8.5 seconds behind Sebastien Ogier and 3.2 seconds behind Mikko Hirvonen. However in the 14 kilometre Castelsardo 1 test, SS2, the young Russian rolled his Fiesta RS WRC car and was unable to continue.
Novikov and co-driver, Ilka Minor both escaped unharmed, although it is not yet known if they will be able to rejoin on Saturday under the Rally 2 regulations.
“It was just after the start of the second stage going into the first right-hand corner. We were carrying too much speed and it was really slippery. The corner tightened, but in my pacenotes we had it marked down as 'flat'. We hit a stone wall and damaged the left side of the car quite badly – especially the rear-left,” he recounted.
“For the moment I don't know if we will be able to continue tomorrow. We will know soon once the FIA have had a look at the car and the mechanics are able to make the repairs.
“Of course it is very disappointing, but the most important thing is that both myself and Ilka are OK,” Novikov concluded.