Tuesday | 13 Oct 2015

Abbring: "We are making big steps"

With one more rally to go in his 2015 five-round WRC programme with Hyundai, Kevin Abbring believes he is making good progress.

The 26-year-old ran as high as second on the most recent round in Corsica, and was on course to finish fifth before his i20 World Rally Car slipped off the road in the penultimate stage.

The Dutchman, who also works as Hyundai's test and development driver, has a four week break until his next competitive appearance at next month's Wales Rally GB (12 – 15 November).

"After the first three rallies on snow, gravel and Tarmac, Corsica was my second experience on Tarmac - and the first opportunity to make use of what I learned in Germany," Abbring told wrc.com.

"I was really happy with the progress. I have made a big step since Germany - especially in areas like pace notes and how to use the car on Tarmac. A WRC car might look the same as an R5 car but the two are really different to drive and I am still learning."

Abbring believes the storm-lashed roads in Corsica also helped in the fight against his more experienced rivals. "The rally brought conditions that we haven't seen in the WRC for a long time. Nobody could draw on any experience of driving like that. The stages too were new for everybody so experience didn't play such a part," he said. 

Abbring was on course for a career-best WRC result when he went off after making a late change to his pace notes. "I checked my notes against the video the night before and for some strange reason I made a correction," he explained.

"I swapped some symbols, added a 'fast' and when we arrived at the corner I felt it was not right. I turned in and lifted off the throttle but in the damp the car went wide. It was hardly damaged, but we were stuck three metres off the road. Okay, it was a big pity but I still take a lot of positives from the event."

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