Novikov (pictured) has campaigned an M-Sport Ford Fiesta RS WRC since the start of the season but an agreement with tyre firm DMACK’s Russian subsidiary means the Moscow ace will transfer to Autotek Motorsport for the Salou round.
M-Sport has an existing deal with rival tyre company Michelin, which has resulted in Novikov’s one-off switch and handed Powell an opportunity to make his WRC debut 17 years after his introduction to the sport.
DMACK will back a second Autotek-run Fiesta in Spain with Czech Martin Prokop re-joining the British squad. Days two and three in Spain, which run on asphalt, will mark the first time that DMACK’s Tarmac rubber will be used on a World Rally Car in competition.
“It’s important for DMACK to evaluate its performance using the best possible cars, and the events which deliver the greatest challenge,” said DMACK’s Dick Cormack. “We’ve equipped World Rally Cars on over half of the rallies this season and it’s given us vital feedback for next year’s range. We are constantly improving, have made significant steps in performance and see competing at the top level of motorsport key to our development.”
Novikov will continue with stand-in co-driver Ilka Minor, while Michael Fennell will partner Trinidad and Tobago’s Powell, who is currently competing in the FIA’s NACAM regional series. Ott Tanak will head the M-Sport line-up in Spain on the back of his maiden podium finish on Rally Italia Sardegna earlier this month.
Visit WRC.com soon for a Q&A with John Powell.