Young aces impress VW chief
Abbring and Wiegand to remain under consideration for future chance
Kevin Abbring and Sepp Wiegand will remain under consideration as potential recruits for the factory Volkswagen Motorsport team when it enters the World Rally Championship from 2013.
That’s according to the company’s motorsport chief, Kris Nissen, who was impressed with their respective performances on Wales Rally GB, which brought the curtain down on the 2011 WRC season on 13 November.
Abbring was the leading Super 2000 finisher in 12th overall on his first appearance on the challenging gravel rally. Wiegand, who was also competing in Wales for the first time, was the third-highest S2000 competitor when he was forced to withdraw at the finish of Sunday’s second stage when his co-driver Timo Gottschalk was struck down by severe stomach cramps and was unable to continue.
“[Rally GB] with fast gravel stretches and unpredictable weather represents one of the biggest challenges in the WRC,” said Nissen. “Kevin Abbring showed a very strong driving performance and did a good job of presenting himself together with his co-driver Lara Vanneste. But Sepp Wiegand convinced us as well. He continually improved throughout the weekend and proved his talent. We’ll continue to observe both drivers.”
As well as using the event to assess Abbring and Wiegand, Rally GB marked another important step in Volkswagen’s WRC transition from the cross-country rallies it previously tackled.
“The first rally runs in Finland, Germany, Spain and Great Britain have given us important findings for our WRC entry in 2013 with respect to fielding the vehicles, the organisation of the team and the related logistics,” said Nissen.
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