The rapid Russian, 21, has recruited Nicolas Klinger to stand in for Denis Giraudet, who is convalescing following an operation on the back he injured in a heavy landing on Neste Oil Rally Finland earlier this month.
“It will be very strange not having Denis next to me, but Nicolas is a very nice guy and also a very good co-driver,” said Novikov, who will be at the wheel of his M-Sport Ford World Rally Team Fiesta RS WRC. “We will work hard during the recce to make sure that our pace notes are as good as they can be and I am sure that everything will be fine. This will be my first time at this event so it will be all about doing our best for a good result.”
While Novikov is a Rallye Deutschland novice, team-mate Ott Tanak will be starting the Trier-based event, round nine of the FIA World Rally Championship, for a third time. Nevertheless he expects a tough challenge when the competitive action gets underway on Friday morning.
“This will be the first proper Tarmac event of the year so for sure it will be a challenge,” said the Estonian driver. “In the beginning it will not be so easy to get back into the rhythm of driving on asphalt, but we should be able to find our pace throughout the weekend. On the recce the roads can look quite easy, but they are really deceptive. During the event there are lots of cuts and a lot of mud and gravel can get pulled onto the road which makes it quite slippery and a big challenge.”