Date of Birth:19 Sep 90
Car:Ford Fiesta RS WRC
WRC Debut:Great Britain 2007
2012: Sixth in World Rally Championship
2011: Seventeenth in World Rally Championship
2009: Thirteenth in World Rally Championship with four stage wins. Claims best WRC finish to date with fifth place on Rally d’Italia Sardegna
2008: Thirteenth in the Production Car World Rally Championship. Finishes second in class on Rally Japan after leading
2007: Makes World Rally Championship debut. Runner-up in the Estonian and Russian rally championships
2006: Wins Russian Rally Cup
Novikov, who started competing as a 15-year-old, forged a reputation as being blisteringly fast but frequently prone to error during his maiden season of World Rally Car competition in 2009.
Despite his tender age - he was 18 at the time - and lack of experience, Novikov nevertheless impressed during an eight-round campaign in a Citroen Junior Team C4 WRC, scoring a career-best fifth place in Sardinia.
His record of four fastest stage times during the season was testament to his potential but his campaign ended prematurely and he spent 2010 languishing in the Russian championship amid reports that he’d run short of funds and motivation to progress his promising career.
Novikov returned to the world stage after a season away and was instantly on the pace on his debut in a Ford Fiesta RS WRC on Rally Mexico. An enforced change of co-driver and a run of non-finishes, including some spectacular accidents, led to a change of strategy for the season-closing rounds in Spain and Great Britain where a more conservative approach led to a brace of top 10 finishes.
Despite a one-off drive in a Citroen DS3 WRC in Spain, Novikov completed the year in a Ford and is set for a minimum of eight events in a Fiesta in 2012.
Novikov began his competition career in karting aged 10 and his programme took him to France and Germany. At the same time his father had developed an interest in rallying and started taking lessons from Russian champion Alexei Vosiliev, which had a huge impact on Evgeny’s eventual career choice.
After learning the art of reading pacenotes, the 13-year-old Novikov began co-driving for his father on selected regional and Russian championship rallies.
But Novikov Jr’s real passion remained behind the wheel and when he was old enough - 15 - he entered the Russian Rally Cup series in a Mitsubishi Lancer. He was running second until his father pulled over to let him win his first event. The title followed even though he had to rely on his navigator to drive on road sections because he was under the legal driving age in Russia.
More events in Russia and Estonia followed in 2007, which concluded with his WRC debut on Wales Rally GB. After trading times with established PWRC drivers on the opening two days, the event ended in disappointment when he went off the road on the final day.
His appetite whetted, Novikov entered a full six-event PWRC programme in 2008 and became the championship’s youngest driver. He retired from four rallies but almost won the category on Rally Japan, before suspension problems on the final stage dropped him to second.
His rapid progress continued, with 17th place in the WRC in 2011 being followed by a 6th place in 2012, including a superb second place in Italy. He is one of the most exciting talents on WRC and his youthful exuberance could combine well with team boss Malcolm Wilson’s years of experience.