Russian rattled in rolling at 200km/h
EVGENY Novikov reckons his accident on Rally Australia's Plum Pudding test this morning was the biggest of his career.
The Russian, driving a Ford Fiesta RS WRC for the M-Sport Stobart squad, was in ninth overall when he rolled approximately five times at high speed.
Although his car suffered extensive damage, both he and veteran French co-driver Denis Giraudet were uninjured.
Blaming the crash on a wrongly-recorded pace note, Novikov said: "It was a fast left corner and that tightened a little bit over a crest but in my pace notes it was flat but it was not flat unfortunately.
"We went too wide and onto two wheels and started to roll. It was a mistake from recce for us.
"There was nothing we could do as the car just rolled into trees from flat out in sixth gear. We are both okay but I think that was the biggest crash I have ever had."
Speaking before the world championship qualifier got underway in Coffs Harbour on Thursday evening, Giraudet described the 30-kilometre test as an "adventure", adding: "It's really something special, very fast with a lot of cuts. The trees are very close to the road and when you hit a tree on your door it's not so friendly but it's part of the game. You can't cut all the trees."
Several drivers stopped at the scene of the crash 7.3 kilometres into the test north of the Coffs Harbour service park with a number expressing their shock at the severity of the accident.