The 23-year-old Dutchman is driving for Volkswagen Motorsport this season and attempting to secure a long-term future with the FIA World Rally Championship’s newest manufacturer.
Abbring is the product of a rallying family. His father Edwin’s efforts behind the wheel are well chronicled domestically. But he’s not the product of a rallying nation.
Prior to his arrival at Volkswagen, Maurice Gatsonides was perhaps the most famous Dutchman to take the stages. Gatsonides won Rallye Monte-Carlo in 1953, but is equally famous for inventing the speed camera.
Speed is not something Abbring is short of. His ability was quickly recognised by KNAF, the Dutch motorsport federation, and ran in the Junior World Rally Championship with its backing for three years - becoming the first person to win a round in an R3 class car, when he dominated the category on Rally Poland in 2009.
Last year, Abbring switched his attentions to the French Gravel championship with a works-assisted Citroen DS3 R3. He dominated his class, regularly embarrassing the owners of cars with considerably more power and twice the number of driven wheels.
It was his success in France allied to his success in the FIA Institute’s inaugural Young Driver Excellence Academy scheme which caught the attention of Volkswagen Motorsport.
Abbring was invited to drive one of the firm’s Skoda Fabia S2000s on last year’s Wales Rally GB and, despite a lack of four-wheel drive experience, he finished an impressive 12th overall, beating his nearest Super 2000 challenger by a sizable margin.
It was little wonder that Volkswagen wanted him to come back for more. So, he repeated that 12th overall on Rallye Monte-Carlo in January, but suffered disappointment on the last round in Mexico, when an engine problem forced him out.
Abbring is expected to contest half the WRC rounds in a Volkswagen-run Skoda this year, but he will complete the recce for every event.