‘Game-raising’ driver strategy for Hyundai
Trio of Neuville, Sordo and Paddon for 12 rounds
The Dutchman, who turns 26 next week, takes over from Juho Hanninen and Bryan Bouffier, who tested for the team in 2014 and also drove a number of WRC events.
Abbring carried out some driving duties for the team last year too, shaking down its cars pre-event. The team says his attitude and skill behind the wheel impressed engineers, who found him to be a valuable addition to the team.
A former JWRC competitor, last season Abbring drove for Peugeot in the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC). This year he will take part in a number of tests with the focus on development of Hyundai’s replacement i20 WRC, and will compete in selected WRC events with the team, alongside co-driver Sebastian Marshall.
Abbring said he was “thrilled” to be joining the Hyundai driver line-up of Thierry Neuville, Dani Sordo and Hayden Paddon: “I watched the team’s debut season in WRC with interest and they really surpassed everyone’s expectations. I look forward to making a contribution to the ongoing development of the car and working with a very talented team of people,” he added.
Team Principal Michel Nandan said: “He is an extremely talented young driver and definitely one to watch for the future. We take our role as a WRC manufacturer seriously and have to invest in the talent of tomorrow.
“He impressed us with his approach and his ability in some roll-outs last year and we followed his progress in ERC and Rallye de France closely. He has vast experience with different rally cars and his contribution to the development of our New Generation i20 WRC will be valuable. It’s great to have him as part of our driver roster.”