Former FIA World Rally Championship driver Kevin Abbring stepped in for the FIA World Rallycross Championship rounds three and four last weekend in Finland as he replaced Rokas Baciuska to help the Unkorrupted team with further developing the Renault Clio R.S RX.
Abbring, who impressed a lot last season when he made his World RX debut with the ES Motorsport – Labas Gas team in Norway where he reached the final and was on route to win it until he took the jokerlap and came out in fourth. Abbring continued with the same performance in the upcoming round in Sweden where he also took s fourth place finish in the final.
For this year he was set to enter the FIA European Rallycross Championship together with GCK but as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and other commitments, Abbring had decided to skip the season and focus on helping the team develop the cars.
At the first round of two held in Finland, Abbring struggled to find the right pace in the morning qualifying sessions but after some setup changes he was back on pace until he suffered a broken prop shaft in the third qualifying that ended his day early.
Rain greeted competitors on the Sunday morning as the second round of the weekend roared into life, Abbring raced with a different setup compared to his team-mate Guerlain Chicherit to gather important data and gather feedback quicker.
Abbring later shared the same setup for Chicherit to use in the third qualifying, the pace was promising, but it wasn’t enough for both of the drivers to make it through to the semi-finals with Abbring claiming thirteenth overall in the intermediate results, two points shy of making it through.
“We’ve done so many things since Sweden and sometimes it’s hard to know what works and what doesn’t but I think in the end, we’re a step closer to what it is that the car is lacking.” Abbring said.
“If you look at Q2, the car gave me a lot of confidence, a really good start and a nice send into turn 1, so that’s positive. In Q3 in the rain, we didn’t quite hit the right pace on the tarmac but on the gravel, I was one of the strongest in the sector. The overall results may not seem like that yet but we’re getting there.”,
The next race will be in Latvia on 19/20 September where Baciuska is set to be driving again while Abbring will have to wait for another opportunity.