Kevin Abbring will not be taking part in the World RX of South Africa season finale in Cape Town, with ESmotorsport-Labas GAS team confirming Matvey Furazhkin in his place.
The final round of the 2019 FIA World Rallycross Championship takes place on the 9th and 10th of November at the Killarney Internationational Raceway.
Having only made his World RX debut for two rounds this season, Kevin Abbring will be replaced for the season finale, as ESmotorsport prepare Furazhkin for the 2020 season.
Matvey Furazhkin made his World RX debut in Loheac where he finished in 20th place, and the Neste World RX of Latvia, where he improved to a 17th place finish.
Abbring was set to return for the season finale in Cape Town, but the Lithuanian team will now run Furazhkin in the Skoda Fabia RX in preparation for 2020.
"It was requested by Matvey’s partners and sponsors that for more experience in rallycross he should do South Africa," said ESmotorsport Team Manager Robertas Maneikis.
"Matvey’s future goal is a full season in the Championship and while he joined almost at the end of this year, we would also like to do as much development testing with him as possible in order to be able to compete next season."
Kevin Abbring claimed the ESmotorsport's best results of the season in Norway and Sweden (fourth place in both races), and he firmly remains part of the team as they aim to continue with him in 2020. The Dutchman missed a few rounds this season due to prior racing engagements. “We still continue to work with Kevin so we could see him do more rallycross events next season,” Maneikis said.
Maneikis says the team has been impressed with Furazhkin’s approach to World RX in his first events. “The main impression I have of Matvey is his maturity. Right from his first race in Loheac he adapted to the team very quickly. I am sure with time Matvey’s open-minded approach to rallycross will bring him good results in the future.
"Even after the first race, the feeling in the team was as if we were already together for the entire year. Matvey very quickly found great synergy with the team’s strategists. Of course, the transition from autocross to rallycross is not easy. It’s a different calibre of drivers as well as mixed surface racing and joker strategy brings in a whole new level of racing. One of the greatest advantages that I have noticed with Matvey is that he is prompt to identify his own errors."
In preparation for the World RX season finale in Cape Town, the Russian has been preparing with karting tests in Italy and doing simulation work.
"Matvey has been doing some karting tests in Italy as well as his own simulation work, but in this last race we are looking to get experience, see what we can learn and preferably not interrupt the Championship contenders too much," Maneikis adds. "The target is to be more consistent and make improvements since the last race in Latvia."
Written By Junaid Samodien
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