While Russian Novikov claimed a strong fourth on the FIA World Rally Championship counter, team-mate Ott Tanak rolled into retirement on the final day, while running in an impressive fifth position on his event debut.
Estonian Tanak would have equalled his best result of the season had he held onto fifth overall in his similar Ford Fiesta RS WRC. However, he hit trouble six kilometres into the rally’s 20th stage while in a battle with Qatar World Rally Team driver Thierry Neuville.
“Thierry was going really well, but we set some good times and were able to keep him behind us,” said Tanak. “I was trying to push as we lost a lot of time to Thierry on that stage over the morning loop. He was on softs for the afternoon, and we were on hards, so I knew I had to try hard. Unfortunately, I was caught out on a really fast section and we went off the road. Obviously I am very disappointed. Now I just need to concentrate on Finland where hopefully we can finish with a strong result.”