Following on from a podium finish last time out in Sweden, round 3 of the FIA World Rallycross Championship presented Kevin Abbring with unknown challenges at the famous Lohéac track, where the Dutchman finished fourth in his inaugural outing on French soil.
PHOTO CREDIT: UNKORRUPTED
In his inaugural race weekend in Lohéac, Abbring used Saturday’s free practice session to get a feel for the 1,070m long track before lining up against Enzo Ide, Johan Kristofferson, Timmy Hansen, and O’Donovan for race one of the first qualifier.
A fierce battle over 4 race laps, saw Abbring squeeze by Ide in the very last corner to finish the race in third.
On pole for Q2, the Dutchman won the battle through the first few corners with Scheider to come out in the lead, a position he managed to defend even when rejoining the track following the joker in lap 3. He took the chequered flag with the second-fastest time of Q2 putting him in third overnight behind Kristofferson and Gronholm.
Having set the sixth-fastest time in fourth overall in the third qualifier, Kevin started the final qualifier of the race weekend on pole. He had a good launch, racing to the chequered flag and claiming the fourth-fastest time of the qualifying session.
In the semi-final, Abbring was fourth off the line and jokered on lap 2 finishing the race in 4th-place, missing out on third by one-tenth of a second.
As a substitute for the final, Kevin Abbring was allowed to enter the final in sixth after Kristoffersson failed to make the pre-grid in third. Launching off the line, he jokered straight away and worked his way up, overtaking Szabo and Scheider in the process finishing in fourth-place.
"It’s been an important race weekend of learning for us - it was the first time on this track for me, so I had to adjust and quickly get a feel for the car on this awesome French circuit," Abbring said.
"We changed setups a few times on Saturday morning and were able to optimise performance alongside my growing knowledge of the flow of the track. We had great pace yesterday after getting the feel for the track after Q1.
"We just didn’t have the pace for a podium finish, and it's something we have to review as a team. It was great to be driving in front of so many spectators, a fantastic track and atmosphere and I'm ready to push for the podium at the next event in Latvia."