Name: Kevin Nationality: Dutch
Place of birth: Eindhoven
Hobby's: Tennis, music, poker, driving support
First car: Volvo 360 GLT
Favorite food: Italian cuisine
Ambition: Becoming WRC champion
Kevin Abbring, born on the 20th of january 1989 in Eindhoven (Holland). He has one sister born in 1991. His dad Edwin Abbring (right on the picture) has driven for 25 years. He stopped driving rallies in 2007.
Though he still can be found at the stages. Due to his experience he is able to manage a lot of things around a team or/and a driver. So he did with Kevin when he started rallying. Kevin’s mom is not involved in rallying, though she codrove Kevin’s dad till he was born. Kevin still lives in Holland.
In 2009 Kevin started his own business under the name ‘Kevin in Motion’. He started as an drift and race instructor, later he also became a road safety instructor. If Kevin has the time he is maily acting as a test driver and personal driving trainer next to his full WRC program together with VW Motorsport, which has all the priority since he got the contract in the beginning of 2012.
Dutchman Kevin Abbring began his rally career as a codriver. He codrove the Dutch Rally Championship next to his dad when he turned 17 years old. He got his codriver license the year before.
In 2006 he won the KNAF TALENT FIRST award. The price he received was one year of rallying mainly covered by the Dutch autosport federation in a Mitsubishi Colt 2wd. He just turned 18 before the first rally of the Dutch Rally Championship. He started rallying together with codriver Harmen Scholtalbers. (left one on both pictures) Together they became champion that year. (Colt Cup)
In 2008 Kevin (19) drove his first J-WRC season. The reason fort his big step (from one year Dutch Championship experience to WRC events) was because of the Dutch federation could only allow him to support in terms of money if the money would be spend on WRC events, which came from the Dutch olympic committee.
This was a part of the budget they needed. Together with Hans Weijs (who already had P-WRC experience) they formed the Dutch ‘KTF WRC Team’ (Knaf Talent First) and entered the full J-WRC championship in 2008 which included 6 WRC rallies. For this Kevin used a Renault Clio R3. A car which wasn’t the fastest and the most ‘bullit proof’, but reasonably priced, less expensive in running costs and reliable. His J-WRC adventure started in Jordan. He drove together with codriver Belgium codriver Erwin Mombaerts and Belgium Bjorn Degandt who swapped seats due to Erwin’s busy schedule that year. With as highlight his first ever stage win in WRC Germany.
As a team they also won the price for being the best National ASN inside the J-WRC championship.
In 2009 Kevin (20) started his second year in the J-WRC, together with Belgium codriver Erwin Mombaerts (left one on the picture) on his side. The season began in Ireland. He showed a perfect speed and won more than 60% of all the stages. Though he didn’t end up on the highest step of the podium due to electrical problems on day one.
One rally later he finished second in the J-WRC in Portugal with as absolute highlite his first ever J-WRC win in Poland. He became the first Dutchman and youngest J-WRC round winner ever by winning this rally.
Besides the J-WRC Kevin has competed in a Nissan 350Z. This green Nissan can be run on Bio Methanol, ‘driven by nature’. He was the first one to pick up a class win on alternative fuel in Holland. As we speak, more than 70% of all (rally) competitors in drives on this fuel.
For Kevin (21), 2010 was his last J-WRC season. Five rallies needed to be competed that year. Turkey was the first one which had to be done. After matching the pace for the lead Kevin dropped minutes after electrical issues on one of the stages. 3rd overall and 2nd in R3 was the best he could do.
The second round of the championship was Portugal which he won. After this rally Kevin sufered with electrical problems in Bulgaria and a crash in Germany, which was his first real accident.
Kevin also entered the ‘European Clio R3 Tropy’. He won the 2wd class in IRC round Ypres (BEL) and Barum (CZ) during his first visit in both rallies. Later he became champion with another victory in Rallye Du Var (FA)
Kevin was also invited to compete at ‘Rally all stars’ that year. Similar to the ‘Race of Champions’ but this event was held in Croatia and only rally drivers were invited. Kevin managed to win the event in front of four times World Rally Champion Juha Kankkunen who finished third and ex WRC factory driver Armin Schwarz who finished second.
Last but not least, Kevin went to America to take part of the first official Ken Block ‘Gymkhana invitational Grid’ event. Together with Bas Koeten Racing, Gutts he drove their BIOMCN Flexfuel Nissan 350Z to a third place. Each drift car received points for drifting, speed and time. Kevin and his crew were the only team comming from Europe. Besides that their car had at least 250 PS less than all the other American and Jappanese drift monsters.
In the beginning of 2011 Kevin was selected by the FIA and the KNAF to take part in the ‘FIA Young Driver Excellence Acadamy’ selection event. He selected himself by winning the selection event. He passed among 11 other young talented drivers from different motorsport disciplines. The FIA invested in 6 workshops throughout the year to discover and improve all aspects of being a professional driver aswell as to become a road safety ambassador. Kevin was awarded as ‘Driver of the year’ at the end of the 6th workshop. He is recognised as the one with the most potential, motivation and improvements throughout the season.
Kevin also made a switch to ‘Citroen Sport’ that year. Together with young codriver Lara Vanneste they entered the French Gravel Championship and won the 2wd class with a Citroen DS3 R3. The car was run by Automeca, own by Ex WRC factory driver Philippe Bugalski. Untill the last rally they were able to hold the 3rd place overall in the championship and they finally finished 4th.
Last but not least, Kevin came out for future factory team VW Motorsport in WRC Rally GB. Together with Lara Vannest he finished first non WRC car and 11th overall. A fantastic debut, his first time behind the wheel of a S2000 car in his first Rally GB.
Place of birth: Kortrijk
Hobby's: Rallysport, Skiing
First car: Audi A6
Favorite food: European food
Ambition: One life, so live it