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Novikov in Talks for Works Drive in 2013

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Russian rally driver Evgeny Novikov is in negotiations for a seat with a manufacturer-backed team for next season after taking his first World Rally Championship podium, he told RIA Novosti on Thursday.

Russian rally driver Evgeny Novikov is in negotiations for a seat with a manufacturer-backed team for next season after taking his first World Rally Championship podium, he told RIA Novosti on Thursday.

Novikov, of the customer M-Sport Ford team, is the second-best non-works driver and in fifth place in the championship overall after strong showings in the first four rallies of 2012, including second place in Portugal on Sunday.

Novikov is in talks for a works drive in 2013, and hopeful of a positive result, he said.

“Whether we’ll manage to do it in time for the next season, only time will tell.”

The superior funding and technical support for the works teams puts other drivers like Novikov at a disadvantage he said.

“In order to be constantly challenging for podium places, we need a works car. It’s very difficult to fight with the works cars when you’re in a customer car,” he said.

Novikov finished third in Portugal, but moved up to second after Mikko Hirvonen was disqualified ten hours after the finish when his car’s clutch and turbocharger were found to infringe the rules.

The result made the Russian’s co-driver, 56-year-old Frenchman Denis Giraudet, the oldest man ever to stand on a WRC podium.

Novikov entered his first WRC rally in Britain in 2007, but had to wait until 2009 for his first top ten finish, with fifth place in Sardinia.

A stage win in Greece in the following rally made him the youngest stage winner in WRC history and the first Russian to take the honor

 

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