Hans Weijs Jr. and Kevin Abbring, two young rally drivers from the Netherlands, will participate in the Junior World Rally Championship (JWRC) 2008.
It is for the very first time that Dutch crews take part in this global competition. Both youngsters are products of the talent scouting programme ‘KNAF Talent First’, initiated by the Dutch ASN Knac National Motorsports Federation (KNAF) with official backing of the Dutch National Olympic Committee and National Sports Federation (NOC*NSF).
Hans Weijs Jr, 21 years of age, won ‘KNAF Talent First’ in 2005 and Kevin Abbring (19 years) came out on top of this contest in 2006. In their respective following year they proved their worth by winning the Mitsubishi Colt rally competition within the Dutch National Rally Championship.
In JWRC Hans Weijs Jr. will field a Citroen C2 R2 MAX, while Abbring will drive a Renault Clio RS R3. Both drivers skipped the first JWRC round in Mexico – according to regulations participants are to drop one event out of the seven designated rallies – in order to have their cars fully prepared in time for shipment to Jordan for their JWRC debut, 24-27 April. From the Jordan Rally the equipment will be ferried directly to Sardinia for round 2.
Hans Weijs Jr. and Kevin Abbring, who have also been entered as KNAF Talent First Team Holland in the official FIA nations cup for junior talent teams, are very excited with the unique chance of competing at such a high level.
Weijs, who ran a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8/9 Group N in five WRC events last year, says: "My aim is to further integrate into the Citroen Sports family, developing my skills and trying to score as many points as possible in order to make the Dutch lyon roar, also taking into account the Citroen MAX cup and the nations cup."
For Abbring this will be his first true season in the world championship environment: "An eye opener, one big’ recce’. This will all be about getting to know the different rally characteristics and hopefully score points in the learning process."
-Willy Weyens, also photos -