Abbring to contest World RX campaign with Renault Megane
Former works Hyundai World rally driver Kevin Abbring will race full-time in the World Rallycross Championship this year in a Renault Megane.
Abbring will become the first Dutch driver to compete in a full World RX campaign, driving under the UNKORRUPTED team banner.
GCK Motorsport, which had fielded the Meganes since their World RX debut in 2018, having been originally built by British firm Prodrive, has taken a step away from top-flight rallycross as part of its move away from internal combustion engine motorsport.
While Abbring is playing a key role in the development of GCK’s electric E-Blast 1 Dakar vehicle that it showcased on the Dakar event in January, and is working with the squad on the creation of its hydrogen-hybrid Dakar machine set to compete from 2023, GCK won’t race itself in rallycross while the top class is still for internal combustion cars.
The World RX series is set to switch to all-electric vehicles next year, but in the interim season this year, Abbring’s Megane will be run by French outfit FORS Technologies.
Having begun his career in rallycross in the FST Cup in Belgium and Holland aged 16, Abbring returned to the discipline at the top level in 2019, driving for the ES Motorsport squad in a Skoda Fabia, and finished just shy of the podium in the Norwegian and Swedish rounds.
He drove an UNKORRUPTED Renault Clio in the Finnish rounds of World RX last season, but will now focus on racing the Megane in a full campaign.
“I’ve been working on some incredible projects, and I’m really excited about the future of motorsport," said Abbring.
“To get the chance to contest an entire championship at world level in parallel this season is something I’ve been working on for such a long time now. Thanks to the latest projects and test activities I have been involved in, I feel faster than I’ve ever been.
"I’ve worked with every team member closely before and I’m starting to understand the Megane better and better. I can’t wait to push for victories together."
Abbring’s announcement comes on the back of Hansen Motorsport driver Kevin Hansen, who finished third overall in the series in 2019, announcing that he will continue to race in the series this year.
Hansen stepped up World RX full-time in 2017, and is targeting a title assault in the team’s Peugeot 208. The Swede also made his Extreme E debut in Senegal recently for the JBXE squad and finished on the podium with teammate Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky.
“I know where I’ve been weak and where I’ve been strong, and it’s time to put it all together in the final year of the combustion-engined era," said 23-year old Hansen.
"I’m capable of winning championships – I think my junior career showed that. This is no different and I hope the changes around me will showcase the progress we’ve made together.
"Our car development has moved towards a direction I feel more comfortable with, and the Peugeot did fit me much better last season than in 2019. I believe since then we've progressed even more in that direction, and I can’t wait to extract all of it on track.
"To close World RX’s combustion chapter with the Hansen name on top would be a beautiful story, given the team’s rich history and the upcoming shift to full electric rallycross. It’s my time to shine."
World RX's Norway opener cancelled, new Portugal finale added
Triple World RX champion Kristoffersson to switch to Audi