Nineteen-year-old Russian driver Evgeny Novikov will not contest next year's World Rally Championship due to a lack of financial backing.
The Citroen Junior Team driver missed last week's Rally GB for the same reason, but it had been hoped a deal could be found to keep him in the sport in 2010. Novikov has now announced that will not be the case,
"Due to lack of funding in 2010 and having financial difficulties now, it was decided not to go to Rally Great Britain," he said. "For the same reasons, I have to take a break and will not act next year."
Novikov is seen as one of the most talented young drivers in the WRC, but he has also had a growing reputation for being hard to handle. His Australian co-driver Dale Moscatt walked out on the partnership after a troubled Rally Finland where they narrowly escaped a big accident only to retire with a smaller one later in the event.
This has been a tough year for the teenage sensation – he has retired from four of the eight rallies he competed in due to accidents. But he did become the youngest driver ever to win a WRC stage on the Acropolis Rally this year. Of his four 2009 finishes, he only scored points on Rally d'Italia, where he was fifth.
Novikov made his Intercontinental Rally Challenge debut on the Barum Rally Zlin, but was forced out with a mechanical problem aboard a hired Skoda Fabia S2000. The Russian admits the IRC is something he is exploring for the future, although he does not currently have any options in the S2000-based series.
"The IRC is interesting, but less so than the WRC," he said. "I have no offer for the IRC and I have absolutely nothing for the WRC."