Hailed as the “home race” for driver Kevin Abbring being the season’s closest race to the Netherlands, round 6 of the FIA World Rallycross Championship at the picturesque circuit de Spa-Francorchamps saw the Dutch driver impress with leading race pace that had him top the intermediate standings going into the semi-finals, where he led the pack before being raced into and spun around, damaging the car and ending the weekend early. Leaving Belgium in 7th overall, Abbring gained 18 points and remains in 6th position in the Championship standings.
Brilliant sunshine and clear blue skies greeted the UNKORRUPTED team for morning practice at the world-famous motorsport venue with Abbring starting the race weekend as he meant to go on, putting down the 3rd fastest time.
On pole for the first qualifier alongside Scheider, O’Donovan and Ide, Abbring raced into the lead and brought the GCK Mégane RS RX home in first with the fastest time of the qualifier, earning him pole position for Q2 as well.
Day 2 of the Benelux Championship round kicked off for UNKORRUPTED with Abbring taking on Kevin Hansen, Grönholm and Knapick in race 3 of Q3. Abbring finished the race managing to get the 5th fastest time of the qualifier and remaining p3 overall ahead of Q4.
On pole for the last qualifier of the day, Abbring put down a good start and pushed into the lead, a position he managed to defend when jokering in the last lap to take the chequered flag. Having raced the fastest time of the qualifier ahead of Kristofferson and Hansen, Abbring earned pole position in the semi-finals and topped the intermediate standings for the first time in his FIA World Rallycross Championship career.
First off the line putting down a brilliant start and leading out of turn 1 in the semi-final, Abbring was driven into from the side out of the Eau Rouge hairpin, pushing him around and breaking his rear suspension in the process, leading to him having to retire from the race and the Benelux weekend in p7 overall.
“Such a frustrating end to a brilliant weekend here at Spa-Francorchamps. It was fantastic having fans here and being able to race in front of friends, family and partners and I really enjoyed the track, atmosphere, and the car. The changes made worked here in Belgium and we continued to optimise throughout the weekend, putting down some great laps. A shame it ended like this, completely out of our control. The team all worked really hard and there was nothing more they could’ve done today, so I want to thank them and everyone who was here supporting and giving me so much energy.”, Kevin Abbring commented.
With Kristofferson, Scheider and Kevin Hansen to his right, Kevin raced into the lead but was pushed into the side by the pack, turning him around and bringing him to a stop. Having managed to restart the car, he finished Q2 in p11, putting him in p3 overnight.